NASHVILLE, Tenn., October 13, 2010 — The NAMM Foundation donated $10,000 today to the W.O. Smith Music School, which provides quality music instruction to children from low-income families. Also appearing at the press conference were former Arkansas Governor, current political talk show host and part-time bass player, Mike Huckabee and platinum recording artist and songwriter Aaron Tippin to announce a new compilation CD project to benefit music education for children across America.
I Wanna Play!: An Album to Put Musical Instruments Into the Hands Of Every Child in America, features performances by Huckabee, Tippin as well as George Jones, Ronnie Milsap, Neil Sedaka and students from W.O. Smith Music School singing on the album’s title track written by Tippin and his wife Thea.
“This album was truly the experience-of-a-lifetime; we have such talent associated —including major music legends—it’s a dream come true for me to be a part of this and will help to make dreams come true for young hopefuls,” said Huckabee.
“I Wanna Play! is a passion project for me. To be joined by Aaron, James (Stroud) and award-winning artists standing in support, is a victory for music education.”
“The students of the W.O. Smith School truly enjoyed the recording experience with Aaron Tippin and are proud to be a part of the I Wanna Play! CD, said Jonah Rabinowitz, executive director, W. O. Smith Music School. “We thank NAMM’s Wanna Play Fund and Gov. Huckabee for their generous donation to the school and know it will go a long way in promoting the Fund’s and the school’s mission of providing children an opportunity to learn and play music, thus enriching their lives.
NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen was on hand to deliver the donation check and discuss the Foundation’s role in supporting quality music education for all children.
“Today it seems very fitting that we celebrate the launch of this great CD project at the wonderful W.O. Smith Music School that is serving so many young people with music education,” said Luehrsen. “Having the school’s students on the CD’s title song and being here today to say our thanks brings the meaning of the NAMM Foundation’s Wanna Play Fund full circle. We want children everywhere to have the opportunity to learn and grow with music.”
The new I Wanna Play! CD will be available beginning Oct. 23, 2010, via all major retail and digital outlets including iTunes and Amazon as well as www.wannaplaycd.org
Picture shows (Left to right) Jonah Rabinowitz, Ed Hardy, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Aaron Tippin, Mary Luehrsen.
About NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit organization with the mission of advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry.
About the W.O. Smith Music School
Founded in 1984, the W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School was created for the purpose of making quality music instruction available to talented, interested, deserving children from low income families at the nominal fee of 50 cents a lesson. Instruction is provided by a 200-member volunteer faculty of area musicians from many elements of the Nashville music scene including studio musicians, symphony players, college professors, public school teachers, church musicians, private teachers and university students, who each donate up to four hours a week teaching their students. The school serves more than 600 students yearly, ages 6 to 18, representing academic schools from across Metro Davidson County and Middle Tennessee. Students must qualify for the reduced or free lunch program in Metro schools to take part. In the 2009-2010 school year, volunteers provided instruction that would have had a cost of more than $440,000 if their services had not been donated.