A number of country artists including Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Montgomery Gentry, RaeLynn, Eric Paslay, Maddie & Tae and Maren Morris offered campers a musical experience to remember during ACM Lifting Lives’ 2016 Music Camp in Nashville.
Campers from across the country joined in karaoke with Montgomery Gentry at Winners Bar, attended a meet-and-greet with Maddie & Tae at the Wildhorse Saloon, and co-wrote the song “Happy Together” with Eric Paslay and songwriter/producer Ross Copperman. In addition, they spent time at Nashville’s Ocean Way studio with Carrie Underwood, heard Maren Morris at the Bluebird Cafe, and chatted with RaeLynn at Seacrest Studio in Nashville. The week wrapped with Rascal Flatts performing alongside the campers at the Grand Ole Opry, while the campers performed “Happy Together.”
“Just to see how much fun they are having, and how proud they are of themselves for creating a song…they are just a ray of sunshine,” said Underwood. “It’s really amazing just to see them all come together and work together and write an adorable song.”
“Just to see these kids and how energized they are, to get up here and sing and their passion for music, there’s nothing like it,” said Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry.
“This is the first time I’ve done karaoke, so talk about nervous, I was real nervous. Of course, they get up and do it like pros,” added Eddie Montgomery.
“It’s important to me to give back in this way because I just know how shy of a kid I was,” said Morris. “Music helped me so much to break through those barriers, those communication barriers. It’s always been therapeutic for me.”
“They remind me that there is a bigger reason for what I do,” said Copperman. “Music really does touch people.”
The week-long residential program is open to campers nationwide, talented in music, with Williams syndrome. The Camp has a dual purpose of studying Williams syndrome while providing music enrichment through performance and education. ACM Lifting Lives funds the costs of the Camp, enabling the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities to advance its mission of improving the lives of individuals with Williams syndrome and their families through research, training and service.
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