Sponsorship Snafu Denies Students A Chance To Perform At CMA Awards
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Performers know the old saying that no matter what "the show must go on." Two Metro students learned that the hard way Thursday night at the CMA Awards.
Music comes naturally to Joey Santoro. On Thursday he was prepared for his moment to shine.
"It was a really, really sort of a culture shock like experience," he said.
Santoro, a senior at Hume-Fogg Magnet High School and Marcus Wanner, sophomore at Nashville School of the Arts, were hand selected to play with Brad Paisley during the show. Their segment was supposed to raise awareness about the Keep the Music Playing program. The initiative has raised more than $6 million to support music education.
"Brad is one of the best guitarists I think I've ever met in person," Santoro said. "It was mind blowing sitting next to him and hearing him play way better than me."
The students received an all access pass and even walked the red carpet.
"It's absolutely wonderful. It's an amazing opportunity and we've loved every minute of it," Wanner said on the red carpet.
Just moments before, they learned their big break would not happen. A sponsorship snafu by Chevrolet forced CMA producers to cut the student's segment from the show.
"Then it sort of sunk in that we told all of our friends and all of our family to be taping the CMA's," Santoro explained about his disappointment.
Back at Hume-Fogg the lights are not nearly as bright.
"I got to play with Brad Paisley and that was awesome," Santoro said.
It's a moment he wanted to share with the world. For now the disappointment still stings.
"But as time moves on it's going to feel better."
A representative from Chevrolet is apologetic for the mishap and says the company is determining how to make it up to the students.