CMA Foundation, Brett Eldredge Honor 50 Nashville Music Teachers

Pictured (L-R): John Esposito, President/CEO, Warner Music Nashville and CMA Board Chairman; Nashville Mayor Megan Barry; Brett Eldredge; Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer; Joe Galante, CMA Foundation Board Chairman. Photo: Kayla Schoen / CMA

Pictured (L-R): John Esposito, President/CEO, Warner Music Nashville and CMA Board Chairman; Nashville Mayor Megan Barry; Brett Eldredge; Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer; Joe Galante, CMA Foundation Board Chairman. Photo: Kayla Schoen / CMA

The CMA Foundation honored 50 Nashville music teachers during the inaugural CMA Music Teacher of Excellence, held Tuesday night (April 26) at City Winery in Nashville. Hosted by CMA award winner Brett Eldredge, the event recognized teachers who brought value to their students, to their individual schools, and to the community. Each teacher received a $2,000 grant from the CMA Foundation.

“Purchasing instruments has been central to the mission of the Foundation, but rewarding teachers provides the motivation and encouragement necessary to have a dynamic, sustainable music program in Nashville and other cities,” said Joe Galante, Chairman of the CMA Foundation Board of Directors.

Brett Eldredge, host of the CMA Music Teacher of Excellence, welcomes his own childhood music teacher, Judy Carroll, as his special guest at the inaugural honors evening at City Winery Tuesday in Nashville. Photo: Kayla Schoen / CMA

Brett Eldredge welcomes his childhood music teacher, Judy Carroll, as his special guest at the inaugural honors evening at City Winery Tuesday in Nashville. Photo: Kayla Schoen / CMA

Eldredge’s own childhood music teacher, Judy Carroll, also attended the ceremony. Carroll is a 27-year veteran music educator, having taught voice and choral programs at elementary and middle schools in Paris, Illinois.

“Everyone needs somebody to help guide you along. Someone that sees the talent in you, that believes,” said Eldredge. “There are so many schools that don’t have music programs and that is why I’m so passionate about this, because some kids may not have their Judy Carroll, or their mentor, or the person that helps them along. Kids should never be without the option to have music in their lives.”

CMA Music Teacher of Excellence Franklin Willis, Choral Director at Madison Middle Prep (center), with Dr. Nola Jones, Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts, Metro Nashville Public Schools, and Jon Loba, Executive Vice President, BBR Music Group and CMA Board member, at the CMA Music Teacher of Excellence honors at City Winery Tuesday in Nashville. Photo: Kayla Schoen / CMA

CMA Music Teacher of Excellence Franklin Willis, Choral Director at Madison Middle Prep (center), with Dr. Nola Jones, Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts, Metro Nashville Public Schools, and Jon Loba, Executive Vice President, BBR Music Group and CMA Board member, at the CMA Music Teacher of Excellence honors at City Winery Tuesday in Nashville. Photo: Kayla Schoen / CMA

To date, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $13.68 million to 30 music education initiatives across the country, reaching 1 million students.

The inaugural recipients of the CMA Music Teacher or Excellence grants are:

Kate Affainie (Granberry Elementary)
Ronda Armstrong (Stanford Montessori)
Jennifer Barnes (Lockeland Design Center)
Rita Black (Eakin Elementary)
Christopher Blackmon (Thomas Edison Elementary School)
Michael Currie (A.Z. Kelley Elementary)
Benjamin Easley (John Overton High School)
John Feltt (Hermitage Elementary School)
Kim Marie Folsom (Dan Mills Elementary)
Lisa Forbis (Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School)
Mandy Funderburk (Bellevue Middle School)
Laura Gabriel (Nashville School of the Arts)
Janelle Ganske (Hillsboro High School)
Katie Harrah (W.H. Oliver Middle Prep)
Kathy Hart (Harpeth Valley Elementary)
Daniel Hayes (Granberry Elementary)
Kathy Hull (Hull-Jackson Montessori School)
Melissa Husebo (Andrew Jackson Elementary)
Ira “Trey” Jacobs III (Head Middle Magnet)
Lisa Kemp (Haywood Elementary)
Steven King (Tom Joy Elementary)
Laura McAfee (Glenn Elementary Enhanced Option)
Melissa McClaran (Cane Ridge Elementary)
Kimberly McLemore (Antioch High School)
Anna Maria Miller (Hume-Fogg/Martin Luther King)
Eleni Miller (John Overton High School)
Ila Nicholson (John Early Museum Magnet Middle Prep)
Franklin Norris (Meigs Academic Magnet)
Jennifer Partridge (Cumberland Elementary)
Sean Patrick (Cole Elementary)
Catherine Pratt (Goodlettsville Elementary)
Holly Rang (Pennington Elementary)
Richard Ripani (Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School)
Tracy Roberts (Dodson Elementary)
Alaina Schwartz (Crieve Hall Elementary)
Todd Shipley (Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School)
Marilyn Smith (W.H. Oliver Middle Prep)
Nita Smith (Creswell Middle Prep)
Alexander Snyder (Two Rivers Middle Prep)
Michael Walton (DuPont Hadley Middle Prep)
Karen Waters (Park Avenue Enhanced Option Elementary School)
Paul Waters (Bellevue Middle School)
Susan Waters (W.H. Oliver Middle Prep)
Richae Williams (J.E. Moss Elementary)
Franklin Willis (Madison Middle Prep)
Chad Witemeyer (Maxwell Elementary)
John Womack (McGavock High School)
Joshua Wright (McGavock Elementary)
Frank Zimmerer (East Nashville Magnet High School)
Ben Zolkower (Hillwood High School)

Brett Eldredge, center, is host of the CMA Teachers of Excellence event and gathers with teachers on stage at City Winery on April 27, 2016.

Brett Eldredge, center, is host of the CMA Teachers of Excellence event and gathers with teachers on stage at City Winery on April 27.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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