Nashville School Of The Arts Choir Performs At CMA Fest
by Heather Graf
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A group of teens from the Nashville School of the Arts got the chance of a lifetime on Thursday night. They were asked to sing two different songs on the stage at the CMA Music Festival.
"Oh, we're pumped," said Nathan Mell, who just graduated from the school. "We're ready to do this thing!"
Choral Director Walter Bitner said he got the call, asking his students to sing the National Anthem about a month ago.
"I think these kinds of opportunities are rare for any high school student or choir," he said. "And we're just lucky to live in a town like Nashville, where these kinds of magical things can happen."
They'd been practicing for a few weeks when a second opportunity presented itself.
"Sound of a Million Dreams, by David Nail, we're singing back-up for him," said Mell.
Thursday afternoon, they arrived at LP field for their final practice and a sound check on stage.
"Just nerves, nerves, it's all nerves," said Senior Aria Hogg. "I'm very nervous, as you can tell."
When the time came for them to take the stage, though, the performance was flawless. They sang Nail's song first, and followed it with the National Anthem.
"They're not ever going to forget this, no matter what they do in their lives," said Bitner.
Their performance was made possible by the CMA's music education iniative called Keep The Music Playing.
Each year, proceeds from the CMA Music Festival go toward that program, that benefits some 80 different schools in Metro Nashville.
In 2011, that donation came to more than one million dollars.