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CMA Keep The Music Playing Donations $1 Million to Nashville Public Schools

CMA Keep The Music Playing Donations $1 Million to Nashville Public Schools

(l-r) Eric Paslay; Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer; and Joe Galante, CMA Foundation Chairman of the Board present a $1 millon donation to Jay Steele, Metro Nashville Public Schools Chief Academic Officer; Shannon Hunt, Nashville Public Education Foundation President; and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. Photo Credit: Donn Jones / CMA

The CMA Foundation donated $1 million to benefit music education programs in Nashville public schools through the Keep the Music Playing campaign during the Fifth Annual CMA Keep the Music Playing All Stars Concert hosted by Eric Paslay at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s new CMA Theater. The funds came from proceeds from the 2013 CMA Music Festival.

“CMA is extremely proud of being able to provide access to instruments for every child in Metro Schools on behalf of our artist community,” Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer, said. “A thriving music education program is an investment in the future and provides important motivation to keep children engaged and in school.”

The announcement raises CMA’s support of music education in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools to more than $7.5 million. Donations have been used to build music labs and purchase instruments and supplies for all Metro Schools through a partnership with the Nashville Public Education Foundation. The Keep The Music Playing program was created in 2006 to give back to the community on behalf of the hundreds of Country artists who perform and make appearances at CMA Music Festival each year for free.

The announcement of the donation was made at a reception prior to the CMA Keep the Music Playing All Stars Concert which was attended by band directors and music teachers from Metro Schools, as well as representatives from The CMA Foundation, CMA Board of Directors, the Nashville Public Education Foundation, and Music Makes Us Advisory Council.

“What an incredible night!” Eric Paslay said. “I am so honored that I was able to be part of such a special night for CMA and music education through the Keep the Music Playing program. Performing with the students from the Nashville School of the Arts was amazing and I am in awe of their talents. I look forward to helping CMA continue to raise money and awareness for this empowering program for years to come.”

“This program wouldn’t even exist without the Country Music artists who make this gift possible,” Joe Galante, Chairman of The CMA Foundation Board of Directors, said. “With the right tools and instruction from our music educators, we’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of the Keep the Music Playing program on students’ academic success. The results are impressive.”

To date, Keep the Music Playing funds have been used to purchase approximately 6,600 instruments. The school system has found that Metro students participating in more than one year of music are seven percent more likely to come to school each day; earn a 15 percent higher grade point average; and are 52 percent more likely to graduate from high school on time than students who aren’t involved in music classes.

The Mayor of Nashville, the Honorable Karl Dean, Metro Nashville Public Schools Chief Academic Officer Jay Steele, and Nashville Public Education Foundation President Shannon Hunt also participated in the donation announcement.

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