The Third Annual Grand Rally for Music Education Confirmed That Support of Music Ed at The 2018 NAMM Show Is “Unbreakable”

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The Grand Rally for Music Education on Saturday, January 27, at The 2018 NAMM Show celebrated the “unbreakable” voices behind music education in schools. The NAMM Foundation’s annual salute to music education welcomed NAMM members, music educators, college music students and faculty to join together in celebration of the benefits of music education. 

(Manhattan School of Music Electronic Jazz Ensemble and Bernie Williams)

As the doors to The Grand Rally were opened attendees were welcomed with performances by the Manhattan School of Music Electronic Jazz Ensemble.

The performance segued into an only-at-The NAMM Show moment, when the Manhattan School of Music Electronic Jazz Ensemble and Bernie Williams joined Country Club Hills District 160 students on stage to perform an original song by CCHD160, “Unbreakable.”

Their lyrics to “Unbreakable” include "I want to go wherever music takes me" and “They tried to break us down, but we gonna get back up, there’s no stopping us, because we’re fighters.”

“These kids from [Country Club Hills District 160] were total pros at the [Grand] Rally. Chills!” Henry Donahue, executive director of VH1’s Save The Music Foundation, tweeted.

(Country Club Hills District 160 students, Manhattan School of Music Electronic Jazz Ensemble and Bernie Williams)

(Terry Lowe, Chuck Surack and Mary Luehrsen)

Terry Lowe, publisher of Musical Merchandise Review and School Band and Orchestra magazines, took to the stage with Mary Luehrsen, executive director of The NAMM Foundation, to present the Don Johnson Award to Chuck Surack. Surack is the founder and president of Sweetwater Sound and serves as Secretary Treasurer on the newly-formed NAMM Foundation board of directors.

The Grand Rally continued with an "inside the practice studio" interview with Grammy-nominated, singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton.

(Vanessa Carlton and Mary Luehrsen)

“When you trust your own instinct that is when you are your most authentic self,” she said. “People want to connect with your realest self.”

Carlton was also honored with a SupportMusic Champion award for her ongoing efforts to keep music education strong.

Before leaving the stage she left college music students who are looking to enter the music products industry with some advice, “Trust your musical instincts.”

(Vanessa Carlton and Mary Luehrsen)

The second half of the Grand Rally had people on their feet as the FORTE Tenors took to the stage and performed several of hits, including an emotional cover of “Free Fallin’”by the iconic rocker Tom Petty who passed away in 2017, to an awe-inspired crowd.

The event ended with all of the artists gracing the stage for a photo opportunity- an incredible ending to honor and celebrate the many faces of music education.

The Grand Rally for Music Education was hosted by the Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation, Mary Luehrsen. Video footage is available on The NAMM Foundation’s Facebook page.

Photography by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM and Megan Nelson.

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