Kelsea Ballerini was up early this morning (Dec. 6) getting the news that she was nominated for the all-genre Best New Artist at the 59th annual Grammy Awards. No sooner did she get the call than the Grammy nominee made her way to Oliver Middle School in Nashville, Tenn., to join forces with the Country Music Association, Nashville mayor Megan Barry and Music Makes Us to help present a check for $1 million to Nashville Public Schools.
Music Makes Us is a partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools, mayor Megan Barry and the Nashville music community that provides meaningful support for music in metro schools. Their goal is to eliminate barriers to music education, increase student participation and enhance the quality of music education for all Metro Nashville Public School students.
Opening the ceremony, the Oliver Middle School band performed the song, “Imaginarium”—composed by Randall D. Standridge—for parents, faculty, CMA members and Kelsea Ballerini. Following the performance were speeches given by chief of staff of Metro Public Schools Jana Carlisle, Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern, Nashville mayor Megan Barry and Kelsea.
“What Music Makes Us helps us do is make the music and you all made it possible,” said mayor Barry. “CMA’s support is incredible. You just said $11 million has flown into Nashville and it’s all because performers step up and do this for free. These private/public partnerships make Nashville, Music City.”
“Y’all, music does make us,” Kelsea said during her speech. “It does, from the beginning of the day to the end of the day, it makes us. And it all starts when you’re young, in elementary school, in middle school and high school, these are the times when you’re kind of defining who you are, what you love and what your passions are and you’re discovering that for the first time. For me it was music and for them it is music.”
As she concluded her speech, Kelsea had the significant honor of presenting the $1 million check to help further music education in Nashville Public Schools.
Watch Kelsea give her speech.
Photos and video by Lisa Konicki