VIDEO: CMA Foundation and Kristin Chenoweth Host High School Students for Special Q&A at Schermerhorn Sound Check
Students participating in the annual Spotlight Awards, a celebration of musical theatre in Tennessee high schools, were special guests of Tony and Emmy award winner Kristin Chenoweth last week during sound check prior to her performances with the Nashville Symphony at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Thanks to a partnership with the CMA Foundation, a national nonprofit working to ensure every child has access to a quality music education, Chenoweth welcomed a group of high school musical theater students - part of the annual Spotlight Awards competition co-sponsored by the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and Lipscomb University's College of Entertainment and the Arts - for a special sound check and a Q&A prior to her performance.
Even a week after the experience, students who took part in the special event are still enthusiastic about the opportunity to meet with Chenoweth and to hear the story of her own experiences, both onstage and off, as well as to be able to hear from musical director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, who has collaborated with her on concert tours and on Broadway.
"It was so cool to see Kristen Chenoweth live," says Katie Madole, a student at Nashville's Hume-Fogg Academic High School. "It was amazing getting to see someone whom I have looked up to for years as a performer and to be able to hear her speak about her journey.
"Ms. Chenoweth's humility and hard work ethic shone through and inspired me to always aim to work harder and stay humble. She was everything she seems to be online: energetic, beyond talented, and full of magic. I also enjoyed getting to hear from Broadway's Mean Girls music director, Mary-Mitchell Campbell, and get insight into what she looks for when casting Broadway auditions. I am so grateful for this experience and will cherish it forever!"
The special meeting and Q&A were facilitated by The CMA Foundation and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) to highlight the impact and importance of music education and Chenoweth shared advice with the aspiring young performers. The high school theatre students were ecstatic to receive advice and words of encouragement from the musical powerhouse.
A favorite of Nashville audiences, Chenoweth returned to Schermerhorn Symphony Center for a trio of performances with the Nashville Symphony September 27-29.
About the CMA Foundation Established in 2011 as the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association (CMA), the CMA Foundation is committed to improving and sustaining music education programs across the United States, working to ensure every child has the opportunity to participate in music education. Through strategic partnerships, professional development and grant distribution, the CMA Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), has invested more than $21 million in over 85 programs across the national public school system, after school programs, summer camps and community outreach organizations. Guided by the generosity of the Country Music community, proceeds from CMA Fest, the four-day long music festival held annually in Nashville, are used to power the CMA Foundation's social impact and unique model of giving. For more information visit www.CMAfoundation.org. For more information about "It Starts With Me," go to https://itstartswithme.org.
About the Spotlight Awards Sponsored by the CMA Foundation, the Spotlight Awards celebrate high school musical theatre, honoring the talents, collaborations, and educational endeavors of students and educators. Thirty schools from up to 10 counties take part in the annual program, a partnership between the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) and Lipscomb University's College of Entertainment and the Arts.