Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Music Magic - ACM Lifting Lives Camp

Updated on 11/5/2012 4:14:46 PM.

ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp 2012

For one magical week in June, music making dreams came true in a unique partnership between the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and ACM Lifting Lives, the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music.

From June 17 through June 23, 30 people with Williams syndrome, autism, and other disabilities who have a passion for music attended the 8th annual music camp, made possible by the generous donation of the Academy Of Country Music Lifting Lives.

Campers were from 14 states and Canada. During this weeklong residential camp, campers took part in a songwriting workshop, a recording session, a songwriter's night and a live performance on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

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In the Spotlight

Below enjoy some links to the wide variety of news coverage of the event.

ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp 2011 Highlights

On April 3, 2011, the music campers took center stage in a special performance at the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. With chart-topping country music artist Darius Rucker. They performed “Music from the Heart,” a song written collectively at the 2010 ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp with songwriters Brett James and Chris Young. This ACM Lifting Lives Moment raised funds to benefit Vanderbilt Kennedy Center programs.

View video of the 2011 performance

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“People with disabilities often have rare abilities, and in some cases those abilities involve a special talent or affinity for music. I am honored to join ACM Lifting Lives and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center to highlight how music can better the lives of young people with developmental disabilities on country music’s biggest night.” --Darius Rucker

“The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is an amazing place. Here, people and families across the country who are affected by developmental disorders can benefit from world-class science and find understanding, companionship and hope. Our goal is to shine a light on the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center so that viewers will know that they or their loved one are not alone. They may even have a future beyond their wildest dreams, just like the men and women who will make up the choir behind Darius at the ACM Awards.” --Erin Spahn, former executive director of ACM Lifting Lives

ACM Lifting Lives received the Media Award of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in June 2012 in recognition of its generation of extraordinary, positive media coverage of the abilities of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Many stars volunteered their time to create, perform, and have fun with the campers. Gary Allan led a songwriting workshop in which campers created an original song, “In Harmony.” Little Big Town took part in an art and music session in which campers created self-portraits while using music to inspire artistic expression. Carrie Underwood surprised campers at their recording session. Wynona sang karaoke with campers. The camp culminated with a live performance on the Grand Ole Opry where Darius Rucker and campers reprised their performance of “Music From the Heart.”

View video of camp highlights

View photo gallery

View Tempo Magazine story and photos

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