May 14, 2019

Coalition Board Takes in Nashville Concert, Tours Local Arts School

Music City was the setting for this year’s GRAMMY Music Education Coalition annual Board meeting on April 29 and 30.

Board members arrived in the Music City on the 29th, in time for the Recording Academy Nashville Chapter’s 20th Anniversary Block Party. Gathering with chapter members at the historic War Memorial Auditorium directly opposite the Tennessee State Capitol, Board members were treated to an amazing evening of music. Featured performers included MAJOR, Gavin Degraw, and Trisha Yearwood, who took the stage with an orchestra conducted by pianist and arranger Alan Pasqua.

On the morning of April 30, the Coalition Board visited the Nashville School of the Arts, touring its music wing and recently upgraded recording studio. The studio tour was led by the district’s Visual and Performing Arts Director Jeff Smith and Music Teachers Dr. James Satterwhite and Trey Jacobs.

The Board then held a strategic conversation about the role music and audio technology can play in engaging more public school students in music education — the Coalition’s singular goal. A number of guests also participated, including Loop Labs’ Co-founder Ted Knetzger, and National Amusement and Emerson University’s Kevin Mitchell, an acknowledged expert in eSports and youth culture.

The official Coalition Board meeting took place later that day at the Metro Nashville Public Schools administration offices. School district officials, including acting Schools Director Dr. Adrienne Battle, addressed the group.

The afternoon concluded with a special recognition of Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow. Coalition Executive Director Dr. Lee Whitmore presented Mr. Portnow with a special photographic memento of the Coalition’s work in its inaugural school districts. Nashville and Philadelphia public school students signed the framed artwork for Portnow in honor of his role in founding the Coalition. Portnow will step down from his executive role at the Academy later this year.