Country Music and young musicians' dreams at the White House July 21st

by Kerry Dexter /
Kerry Dexter's picture
Jul 18, 2009 / 4 comments

On 21st July, both Grammy award winning country musicians and students from a top Nashville music program will be at the White House as part of a series of events honoring the arts.


The business and music communities of Nashville are supporting the dreams of 40 music students from the W.O. Smith/Nashville Community School of Music, by funding a trip to Washington, D.C., and a special concert series and educational workshop at the White House, hosted by the President and First Lady. The Country Music Association, Cracker Barrel Country Stores, GAC (Great American Country television network) and Gaylord Enterprises are providing funds and in kind services to make the trip for the students possible.

The W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School was created more than twenty five year ago for the purpose of making quality music instruction available to talented, interested, deserving children from low income families at the nominal fee of 50 cents a lesson. Instruction is provided by a 160-member volunteer faculty of musicians from many elements of the Nashville music scene including studio musicians, symphony players, college professors, public school teachers, church musicians, private teachers, and university students, who each donate up to four hours a week teaching their students.

"The students at W.O. Smith School are awed by the opportunity to see our nation's capital and to visit the White House for this special music education program," said Jonah Rabinowitz, Executive Director of the W.O. Smith School.

According to the White House, the purpose of the music series is to celebrate the arts and demonstrate the importance of arts education. The music series launched with a jazz theme last month and will feature classical music this fall. Country Music is the theme of the event July 21.

The Country Music event includes an educational component for 120 young musicians, including the group from W.O. Smith School, in the afternoon, and a concert and reception in the evening. The educational workshop brings students to the White House to celebrate this American art form and learn directly from Country Music stars and musicians about the origins of the music and the craft of song writing. The event culminates with performances by Alison Krauss and Union Station, and Brad Paisley.

Later this summer, you’ll have the chance to see how it all went for the students and Krauss, Paisley, and company. GAC , which has supported the W.O. Smith School since 2005, will have a video crew on board the students' bus in addition to taping the performances in the White House East Room for a one-hour news special hosted by Storme Warren, expected to air on GAC in early August.

Kerry Dexter is the Music Editor for Wandering Educators.
Kerry's credits include VH1, CMT, the folk music magazine Dirty Linen, Strings, and The Encyclopedia of Ireland and the Americas. She also writes about the arts and creative practice at http://www.musicroad.blogspot.com Music Road. You may reach her at music at wanderingeducators dot com.

Comments (4)

  • Kerry Dexter

    14 years 10 months ago

    Peter Cooper wrote a nice story about this event in the Tennessean [Nashville's daily newspaper] this morning. In part

    >>The president praised country's dedication to storytelling, said the
    music "contributed to the life of this nation and chronicled the
    history of our people," and quoted Harlan Howard, Garth Brooks and
    Dierks Bentley."Dierks
    Bentley called (country) 'the best shrink that 15 bucks can buy,' "
    Obama said, drawing laughs from the D.C. crowd and reassured glances
    from the Nashvillians in the room, who were thinking, "Hey, he
    pronounced 'Dierks' correctly."

     

     

    Kerry Dexter

    Music Editor, WanderingEducators.com

    http://musicroad.blogspot.com/

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    14 years 10 months ago

    thanks for this article, kerry - i am laughing at the dierks bentley quote!

     

    Jessie Voigts, PhD

    Publisher, wanderingeducators.com

  • Kerry Dexter

    14 years 9 months ago

    The program that GAC made from this adventure wil begin airing on 15 August, 9pm eastern/8pm central, and knowing GAC, they will repeat it more than once...

    Kerry Dexter

    Music Editor, WanderingEducators.com

    http://musicroad.blogspot.com/

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    14 years 9 months ago

    thanks, kerry - i'll have to tune in!

     

    Jessie Voigts, PhD

    Publisher, wanderingeducators.com

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