It’s not every day that a college student gets to spend time “babysitting” hundreds of children before those kids took the biggest stage of their young lives.

And the opportunity for Lipscomb students surely wasn’t taken for granted.

“The best part about coalescing with the Country Music Association for this benefit concert was witnessing the dreams of these children reaching a platform to the community. Especially that of Nashville’s renowned, unique community of music, and camaraderie of dedicated country music stars, like Scotty McCreery,” sophomore Linnea Berg said.

The Country Music Association annually sponsors the Keep the Music Playing All Stars concert at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

This year the event is hosted by young country music phenom, Scotty McCreery.  The fund-raiser featured the best elementary, middle and high school singers from the Metro Nashville public schools.

Several Lipscomb students were a part of these kids’ big day because of a volunteer opportunity provided by CMA. They were able to volunteer because of a new club on campus known as CMA EDU, which supports students interested in the music industry by providing networking opportunities and experience in the world of country music.

Freshman Alex Justice, sophomore Berg, juniors Kelly Dean (the author of this piece) and Teresa Piquette were among the CMA EDU members representing Lipscomb.

Volunteers got there at 11:30 a.m. to prepare for the rush of kids one hour later. Volunteers were divided into groups and assigned a school. Since the performance didn’t start until 6 p.m., there was plenty of down time for the students.

Volunteers were in charge of watching the kids and providing the schools with any help they may have needed throughout the day. Some even got the chance to go onstage — to set it up for the show, rather than to perform, of course.

Once the show began, each group escorted their kids backstage and gave them direction during and after their performances.

Some of the kids may have been too young to realize the significance of the stage where they performed. Others were aware of achieving this dream and opportunity of a lifetime.

And although it was a long day for the volunteers, many of them would say the hours were well-compensated by enjoying the children’s love for music.

“It was just a great way for country music lovers to be involved with helping the community and supporting music in the schools,” Piquette said. “I loved the feeling of being behind the scenes and seeing first-hand what it takes to put on a concert.”

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