Big Country Names Take Local High School Stage

Posted at 10:37 PM, Jan 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-11 23:44:36-05

Country stars John Rich, Randy Houser and Cowboy Troy took the stage Monday night, but instead of singing at a festival they sang to hundreds of Creek Wood High School students.

The school's principal Dr. Drew Williams is a musician in his own right.

"I came to Nashville by way of a fiddle," he said.

And while his story starts like so many others, it eventually landed him in Dickson County where Creek Wood needed funds to continue the growing performing arts program.

"There's so much testing that happens, there's so much that's demanded of students academically," Wiliams said, "and the arts allow students to just kind of flourish in terms of their creativity."

John Rich, best known for his role in Big and Rich, graduated from the county's other high school in 1992.

"The only key I had to unlock that door to make some friends was a guitar," Rich recalled. He says performing arts is vitally important, especially for kids who don't play sports in schools.

"Music programs set kids apart, they give 'em a chance to excel, they give 'em a chance to compete," he said.

He and his fellow artists say helping out the school was a no-brainer.

"Music programs in schools is one of the things that kept me sane probably growing up," Houser said.

Cowboy Troy agreed.

"It's important to make sure the kids have an opportunity to express themselves musically," he said.

Their enthusiasm was to the delight of the community.

"I'm loving it!" exclaimed band parent Becky Briggs.

"I love Randy Houser and John Rich and Cowboy Troy," said Creek Wood senior Dalton Harper, "Randy Houser's one of my favorites."

The artists bring, not just their music, but opportunity for the kids to see an A-list show up close.

"It means a lot, it means a lot to all these kids," Briggs said.

They also show them dreams do come true. It's a lesson Harper, an aspiring musician, takes to heart. As he and other students focus on different kinds of notes than the traditional pencil and paper at school.

Creek Wood hopes to put on an annual show for the community. Staff say that way teachers can focus on teaching rather than fundraising to keep their performing arts programs afloat.