A compilation of songs written by local students with Nashville songwriters

Words & Music Night celebrates students and songwriters who participated in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s flagship education program, Words & Music: Teach Language Arts Through Lyric Writing.

Due to the coronavirus, this year’s event is hosted virtually in lieu of a live performance in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Ford Theater.

To learn more about the Words & Music program, visit our Words & Music page.

Educators who are interested in participating in the Words & Music program, please contact

Interested in supporting the Museum through our Annual Fund or interested in Museum member benefits?

Words & Music Night Performance Order

Hosted by Aaron Helvig, Words & Music Program Manager

1. Hot Dogs
Amir Getahun ~ Al Hill / Whit Hill
(student songwriter(s) ~ professional songwriter(s))

2. Before You Fall
Samantha Alda-Katherine and Addison Dorris ~ Raquel Cole

3. Bengals Blues
Hank Rusie ~ Jenn Bostic

4. Slow Motion
Hunter Reed ~ Mia Rose Lynne

5. Haters Gonna Hate
Autumn Sky Brown ~ Amirah Shantel

6. This Is My Life
Micah Gleaves

7. Hang In There
Alicea Thomas ~ Claire Wyndham

8. There’s a Leak In My Boat
Sydney Merhige ~ Ellen Angelico

9. Change
Mason Parsons / Ethan Champlin ~ Chris Moyse

10. My Boots
Talha Zaidi ~ Sara Zebley / Hayley Amour

Words & Music Night 2020 Songwriter Biographies

In order of performance

Al Hill’s music blends blues, jazz, rock, and country, or what he calls “roots-rock-rhythm and jazz.” Since 2018, Hill has been playing keyboards, guitars, harmonica, mandolin, and singing with country artist Carlene Carter. He was the first-place award winner of Best Solo Act and Best Solo Guitarist at the 2017 Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge. From 2002 until 2018, Hill was music director for Bettye LaVette, performing throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Japan, and Australia.

Whit Hill grew up in New York City. After many years as a professional dancer and choreographer, she began writing songs and moved to Nashville in 2008 to further her craft. Hill writes folk, blues, country, and pop music and won the prestigious Kerrville New Folk competition. She performs and tours with her husband, blues artist Al Hill.

A multi-instrumentalist from British Columbia, Canada, Raquel Cole has fronted shows for Johnny Lang, Scotty McCreery, Brothers Osborne, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, Diamond Rio, and others. Having won the Canadian Country Music Association’s Discovery Award in 2016, Raquel was featured by the Canadian Broadcast Company as one of the “25 musicians under 25 you need to know.” Cole released her debut album, Personal Truth, in 2018.

Jenn Bostic is a pop/gospel singer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Jealous of the Angels, a song written for her late father, reached #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart. She has performed on the stages of The Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. The British Country Music Awards named Bostic "International Touring Artist of the Year" in both 2017 and 2018. Her latest project Take My Hand Part 1, was recorded with Grammy nominated producer and hit songwriter Lauren Christy.

Mia Rose Lynne is a northern California native now living in Nashville. Lynne's vocals have been likened to artists such as Patty Griffin, Alison Krauss, and Joni Mitchell. Her songwriting has been recognized at the 2018 Telluride Troubadour Contest, 2018 Songwriter Serenade, 2018 Wildflower Arts and Music Festival Contest, 2017 Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Songwriter Showcase, and 2017 Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Contest. Lynne has released three albums to date, including her latest album, Magicians Never Tell (2019).

Oakland-born vocalist Amirah Shantel moved to Nashville in 2014 to further her music education and pursue a career in classical composition and ethnomusicology, but fell into the world of songwriting and live performance. Shantel primarily writes and sings R&B music tinged with classical compositional technique and a hint of jazz. In 2017, she was nominated for a Nashville Industry Music Award (NIMA) in the category of best R&B/Soul Artist. She has recently finished recording her second EP, Simple as a Kiss, which she plans to release in 2020.

After having success in her home country of Australia, singer-songwriter Claire Wyndham moved to Nashville. In 2013, she signed a publishing deal with Kompass Music and has continued to write pop, folk, and country music, receiving dozens of film and television placements as well as cuts by international artists.

Ellen Angelico is a multi-instrumentalist and has been featured on numerous records and has played on stages from the Grand Ole Opry to Križanke in Slovenia. The Nashville Scene called Angelico "one of the greatest utility players in Nashville." Angelico busies herself producing YouTube videos for Fanny's House of Music and also records her own music.

Chris Moyse grew up in New England and moved to Nashville in 2013 to pursue a music career. He was a winner of the 46th annual Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition and was selected to perform at the 2018 Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival in Texas. He has shared the stage with folk troubadours Joe Ely, Tim O’Brien, and members of Old Crow Medicine Show. Moyse released his first full-length album Bitter Ballads & Cynical Prayers in 2020.

Steel Blossoms is the musical collaboration of Sara Zebley and Hayley Amour, former elementary school teachers and artists who met by chance at a festival in their home state of Pennsylvania, where each was performing with separate groups. Zebley and Amour began to write together and play the music scene around Pittsburgh before making their way to Nashville. They released their first full-length album, Country Enough, in 2016. In 2019, the Steel Blossoms became the first act signed to Billy Jam Records, after which, they released a self-titled album.

2019-2020 Participating Schools

Tennessee Schools and Organizations

Battle Creek Elementary School – Spring Hill, TN

Battle Ground Academy – Franklin, TN

Berry Head Start – Nashville, TN

Bethpage Elementary School – Bethpage, TN

Buchanan Elementary School – Murfreesboro, TN

Cane Ridge High School – Antioch, TN

Carroll-Oakland Elementary School – Lebanon, TN

Centennial Elementary School – Dickson, TN

Christ Presbyterian Academy – Nashville, TN

Christiana Elementary School – Christiana, TN

Cole Elementary School – Antioch, TN

College Grove Elementary School – College Grove, TN

Creekside Elementary School – Franklin, TN

Discovery School at Bellwood – Murfreesboro, TN

Donelson Christian Academy – Nashville, TN

Dudley Head Start – Nashville, TN

East Robertson Elementary School – Cross Plains, TN

Ensworth School – Nashville, TN

Franklin Elementary School – Franklin, TN

Franklin Road Academy – Nashville, TN

Girls Preparatory School – Chattanooga, TN

Glencliff Elementary School – Nashville, TN

Glengarry Elementary School – Nashville, TN

Gower Elementary School – Nashville, TN

Hawkins Middle School – Hendersonville, TN

Heritage Elementary School – Thompsons Station, TN

Hillsboro Elementary Middle School – Franklin, TN

Isaac Litton Middle School – Nashville, TN

Joelton Elementary School – Joelton, TN

John Pittard Elementary School – Murfreesboro, TN

Julia Green Elementary School – Nashville, TN

LEAD Prep Southeast – Nashville, TN

Lighthouse Christian School – Antioch, TN

Lipscomb Academy – Nashville, TN

Lockeland Design Center Elementary – Nashville, TN

McFadden School of Excellence – Murfreesboro, TN

McMurray Middle School – Nashville, TN

Meigs Academic Magnet Middle School – Nashville, TN

Mill Creek Elementary School – Nolensville, TN

Mill Creek Middle School – Nolensville, TN

Minglewood Elementary School – Clarksville, TN

North Head Start – Nashville, TN

Northfield Elementary School – Murfreesboro, TN

Paragon Mills Elementary School – Nashville, TN

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School – Nashville, TN

Pope John Paul II High School – Hendersonville, TN

Portland High School – Portland, TN

Portland West Middle School – Portland, TN

Prescott South Elementary School – Cookeville, TN

Prescott South Middle School – Cookeville, TN

Richland Head Start – Nashville, TN

Riverdale High School – Murfreesboro, TN

Shwab Elementary School – Nashville, TN

Siegel High School – Murfreesboro, TN

Smyrna Elementary School – Smyrna, TN

Spring Hill High School – Columbia, TN

St. Joseph School – Madison, TN

St. Rose of Lima Catholic School – Murfreesboro, TN

Stanford Montessori Elementary School – Nashville, TN

Stewarts Creek High School – Smyrna, TN

Sumner Academy – Gallatin, TN

Susan Gray Head Start – Nashville, TN

The Family Center at Dollar General – Goodlettsville, TN

Thompson's Station Middle School – Thompsons Station, TN

Tom Joy Head Start – Nashville, TN

Trinity Elementary School – Franklin, TN

Tusculum Elementary School – Nashville, TN

Westside Elementary School – Springfield, TN

Wright Middle School – Nashville, TN

Distance Learning Schools

Beaumont Elementary – Green Bay, WI

C. Robert Markham Elementary School – Pompano Beach, FL

East Side Elementary School – Chattanooga, TN

Jackson Elementary – Green Bay, WI

Lakeside Academy – Chattanooga, TN

Leslie A. Stemmons Elementary School – Dallas, TX

Moises E. Molina High School – Dallas, TX

Mt. Tabor Elementary School – New Albany, NY

Okeeheelee Middle School – West Palm Beach, FL

Pine City High School – Pine City, MN

Rutland Middle School – Kelowna, BC

South Pittsburg Elementary – South Pittsburg, TN

St. Mary's Episcopal School – Memphis, TN

Country Music Association CMA logo

Words & Music is made possible by the Country Music Association Endowment for Words & Music and is funded in part by Chet Atkins Music Education Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee; CMA; CMA Foundation; Dollar General Literacy Foundation; Sally Friedman; HCA Foundation; Jackson National Life Insurance Company; The Memorial Foundation; Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission; Nashville Predators Foundation; PNC Grow Up Great; The Shehab Family; T&T Family Foundation; Tennessee Arts Commission; and Wells Fargo.

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