NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 31, 2010 - Young songwriters will fill the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum's Ford Theater with songs about unity, Ping-Pong, pets, toast and more on Tuesday, April 27, during the annual Words & Music Night. This year's event is made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and the ASCAP Foundation.
Middle Tennessee students will perform their original songs accompanied by professional songwriters who volunteer their time during the annual event and throughout the year. This year's Words & Music Night will be hosted by hit Nashville songsmiths Kent Blazy and Cory Batten.
The evening will feature songs written by Tennessee students throughout the 2009-10 school year. The program, which begins at 6:30 p.m., is open to performing students and their families.
"The Words & Music program allows students to express themselves creatively and to learn the craft of lyric writing," said Justine Gregory, director of education and public programming for the Museum. "The Words & Music Night recital showcases the breadth, depth and quality of those student compositions. When the students perform their songs on the Ford Theater stage with professional songwriters, it is not only a proud moment for the audience of parents, teachers and Museum staff, but also an evening of first-rate entertainment. We look forward to it every year."
Words & Music Night is the culmination of the yearlong Words & Music program. Classes participating in the program complete an extensive lesson plan, developed by the Museum, which takes the students through the lyric-writing process. Using the Words & Music teacher's guide, which was funded by the ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund and Ford Motor Company Fund, teachers assist students in writing or co-writing lyrics in the classroom; the lyrics are then given to professional songwriters, who refine them and add melodies. Finally, students visit the Museum for a tour and a performance of their songs by their participating songwriter.
More than 4,300 second- through 12th-grade students at 57 Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Indiana schools wrote songs that were put to music by 41 professional songwriters throughout the 2009-10 school year. This is the 31st year that the Museum has offered its Words & Music program.
The Tuesday night showcase will include performances by students ranging from third-grade to middle school, from Belvoir Christian Academy, Chadwell Elementary School, Cockrill Elementary School, David Lipscomb Middle School, East Academy, Ensworth School, Glencliff Elementary School, Gower Elementary School, Hillsboro Elementary School, Meigs Magnet Middle School, McFadden School of Excellence, Overbrook School, Rose Hill Middle School, Sumner Academy and Woodland Middle School.
Award-winning songwriters Kent Blazy and Corey Batten co-wrote "Gettin' You Home (the Black Dress Song)" (Chris Young), "I Don't Know What She Said" (Blaine Larsen), "If You Had Called Yesterday" (Julie Roberts), and "You Can Let Go" (Crystal Shawanda). Blazy's credits include "Ain't Going Down (Til the Sun Comes Up)" (Garth Brooks); "Beer Run" (George Jones with Garth Brooks); "Can't Get Enough" (Patty Loveless) and "If Tomorrow Never Comes" (Garth Brooks), as well as Danny Gokey's current hit "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me." Cory Batten wrote "Is the Grass Any Bluer" (Rhonda Vincent) and "She Wouldn't Be Gone" (Blake Shelton), among others.
Professional songwriters volunteering their time and talent to participate in the program during the 2009-10 school year include Deborah Adams, Shane Adams, Jason Carson, Carl Cartee, Jeff Chase, Larry Wayne Clark, Candace Corrigan, Gary Culley, Jeff Dayton, Moriah Domby, Jason Duke, Steven Farmer, John Feld, Micki Fuhrman-Milom, Doug Gill, Joel Goldstein, Janne Henshaw, Bob Howard, Kathy Hussey, Trent Jeffcoat, Mark Johnson, Casey Kelly, Les Kerr, Lynn Langham, Bill Maier, Simon McCain, Leanne Miele, Alan Powell, Misty Rae, Sandy Ramos, Bill Renfrew, Karen Reynolds, Nelda Sisk, Belinda Smith, Gary Michael Smith, Bob Spanburgh, Keith Thompson, Richard Trest, Jerry Vandiver, Tammy Vice and Lee Young.
Participating schools for 2009-10 include Baileyton Elementary School, Battle Ground Academy, Belvoir Christian Academy, Big Ridge Elementary School, Chadwell Elementary School, Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts, Christ the King School, Cockrill Elementary School, David Lipscomb Middle School, East Academy, Ensworth School, Eva School, Falkville Elementary School, Glencliff Elementary School, Glenview Elementary School, Gower Elementary School, Grassland Elementary School, Hattie Cotton Elementary School, Heritage Hills Middle School, Hillsboro Elementary School, Hillwood High School, Indian Lake Elementary School, John Pittard Elementary School, Kenwood Elementary School, King's Daughters School, Lake City Middle School, McFadden School of Excellence, Meigs Magnet Middle School, Next Step Vanderbilt, Norman Binkley Elementary School, Northeast Middle School, Northside Ambassadors, Oak Hill School Oak View Elementary School, Overbrook School, Parkview Montessori School, Pleasant View Elementary School, Rosebank Elementary School, Rose Hill Middle School, Saint Ann School, Saint Bernard Academy, Saint Henry School, Saint Mary's Episcopal School, Scales Elementary School- Franklin, Scales Elementary School- Murfreesboro, South Spencer High School, Stanford Montessori, Sumner Academy, Tigrett Middle School, Walnut Grove Elementary School, Watauga Elementary School, Watertown Elementary School, West Middle School, Westwood Elementary School, White House Christian Academy, Winter School and Woodland Middle School.
Words & Music is made possible by the Country Music Association Endowment for Words & Music. The Words & Music Teacher's Guide was funded by The ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund and Ford Motor Company Fund. The educational programs of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum are funded in part by grants from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission, through an agreement with the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding for student and teacher programs is provided by the Memorial Foundation and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame ® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The Foundation also operates CMF Records, the Museum's Frist Library and Archive, the CMF Press, historic RCA Studio B, and Hatch Show Print.
More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame ® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.