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More on Brad Paisley at the White House...

Brad's off to play the White House July 21....Here's the full story on the double headers Brad will play at the White House...
CMA Underwrites Cost for Metro Nashville Music Students' Travel Cost; Nashville Business and Music Communities Step Up to Support Washington, D.C., Trip

NASHVILLE - 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 once-in-a-lifetime 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 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 uniquely American art form and learn directly from Country Music stars and musicians about the origins of the music and the craft of songwriting. The event culminates with performances by Alison Krauss and Union Station, and Brad Paisley.

In addition to the White House event on July 21, the W.O. Smith School student musicians are scheduled to meet U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville), sit in on the House of Representatives while it is in session, and visit monuments on the National Mall.

The excursion would not be possible without the generous support of the greater Nashville community. The Country Music Association is underwriting all travel costs for the students with funds from CMA Music Festival and "Keep the Music Playing," which supports music education in Metro Nashville Public Schools. To date, CMA has donated more than $2 million to purchase instruments and fund music programs for Metro's 74,000 students.

"This is a one-time opportunity that is a natural fit for our campaign of supporting music education for public school students and providing musical experiences that they otherwise would not be able to enjoy," said Tammy Genovese, CMA Chief Executive Officer. "These outstanding young musicians are the future of the music industry and what a meaningful lesson they'll learn about the power of following your dreams and believing that anything is possible."

GAC (Great American Country), which has supported the W.O. Smith School since 2005, will have a video crew on board the student's bus in addition to taping the performances in the White House East Room for a one-hour news special hosted by Storme Warren, airing exclusively on GAC in early August.

"We at GAC are huge believers in the work of W.O. Smith," said Ed Hardy, President of GAC, and VP of the W.O. Smith School Board. "Producing a one-hour special on GAC highlighting the Country Music events at the White House, including the W.O. Smith students' trip to the Capitol and their performance with Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley at the event, will help spread the word about this vital community asset and the benefits of arts education."

Founded in 1984, the W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School was created 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 area 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 school serves more than 600 students, ages 6 to 18, representing academic schools from across Metro Davidson County and Middle Tennessee. Students must qualify for the reduced or free lunch program in Metro schools to take part. The school offers introductory classes for pre-instrumentalists, individual and group lessons in all band and orchestra instruments, piano, guitar and voice. The school, which is a nonprofit educational institution, also provides computer assisted instruction in music fundamentals and theory, classes in composition, music technology, and recording.

CMA and GAC aren't the only area businesses supporting the students' trip. While they are in Washington, the students will be staying at The Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in nearby National Harbor, Md. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is providing gold cards that can be redeemed for two free meals during the trip.

"The continuing generosity of the Country Music Association for our city's children is allowing W.O. Smith Music School students to be a part of this important experience, one that we know will last a lifetime," Rabinowitz said. "As always, CMA provides important leadership in the music education of children in Metro Nashville Schools. We are grateful to CMA as well as GAC, Gaylord, and Cracker Barrel for their support of our students."


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