NASHVILLE— The Country Music Association, alongside its philanthropic arm, the CMA Foundation, will welcome some very special guests to be a part of “The 55th Annual CMA Awards” in just a few short weeks. The CMA Foundation’s 2020 Music Teachers of Excellence, a group of 30 inspiring and dedicated music educators from across the U.S., will be celebrated during Country Music’s Biggest Night™, hosted by Country superstar Luke Bryan from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville and broadcasting LIVE on Wednesday, Nov. 10 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on ABC.
The CMA Foundation, now in the midst of celebrating its 10th anniversary, created the Music Teachers of Excellence honor to recognize educators across the country who have the greatest impact on their students, using music as a vehicle for change. The most recent class was announced March 9, 2020, just days before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a halt. As a way to recognize and honor these 30 teachers who consistently go above and beyond their role and responsibilities in the classroom, CMA and the CMA Foundation will deliver a well-deserved night full of excitement, celebration and Country Music. Watch the Music Teachers of Excellence announcement video here.
Each teacher will receive tickets to attend the CMA Awards, where they will take part in a pre-show reception at Bridgestone Arena before attending the ceremony later that night. Like all CMA Awards nominees, the teachers will also receive similarly designed medallions to honor the accomplishment of being selected as a Music Teacher of Excellence. Each teacher’s principal has also been gifted a ticket to the CMA Awards and invites to the ancillary festivities celebrating the Music Teachers of Excellence.
“Day-in and day-out these incredible educators play an integral role in achieving and furthering the CMA Foundation's mission of creating equitable access to music education programs across the United States,” says Tiffany Kerns, CMA Foundation Executive Director. “They dedicate their time, energy and resources to serving and enriching our next generation, ensuring that each student is encouraged and celebrated. We are thrilled to be able to put the spotlight on these 30 Music Teachers of Excellence who so often shine the light on others. We cannot wait to welcome our special guests to this year’s CMA Awards for a night full of celebration and Country Music!”
While the CMA Awards annually celebrate excellence in the Country Music format, the CMA Foundation’s Music Teachers of Excellence program celebrates excellence in public school music education across U.S. K-12 classrooms. Recipients are selected based on their dedication to bringing a high-quality music program to their students and the impact they’ve had on their school community through music. Since 2016, the CMA Foundation has invested more than $700,000 towards Music Teachers of Excellence to ensure music educators have the support and funding needed to create a thriving program within their school and community.
Applications for the 2022 class of Music Teachers of Excellence can be found at CMAfoundation.org and will be available in January 2022.
Delta Air Lines and Vera Bradley are both proud partners of the CMA Foundation’s Music Teachers of Excellence program. In support of this initiative, Delta Air Lines provided flight vouchers for teachers traveling to Nashville to attend the show, while Vera Bradley donated backpacks to each recipient as a goody bag for the event and to support their day-to-day actions as educators.
About the CMA Foundation
Established in 2011 as the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association (CMA), the CMA Foundation is committed to improving and sustaining high-quality music education programs across the United States, working to ensure every child has the opportunity to participate in music. Through strategic partnerships, professional development and grant distribution, the CMA Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), invests various resources across the national public school system, after school programs, summer camps and community outreach organizations.
About the CMA Awards
The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast for the first time – making it the longest running, annual music awards program on network television. The CMA Awards have aired on ABC since 2006. ABC is the network home of the CMA Awards and CMA’s other two television properties, “CMA Fest” and “CMA Country Christmas.”