By Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Hundreds of Metro Nashville Public School students played on the stage of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center Tuesday night. They were there to celebrate the money given to the school district to fund music education by the Country Music Association.
Music has continued to be funded in Nashville schools, despite tough economic times.
"Keep the Music Playing really provides that opportunity and keeps the hope of arts in school, keeps it very alive," said country artist Luke Bryan.
He hosted Tuesday's concert and is a member of the CMA board.
DeOrndrea Foster is a senior at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School in Nashville. She had a solo during the second annual Keep the Music Playing All-Stars Concert.
"This is just another stepping stone in our musical education," Foster said.
Foster emphasized how important her music education is to her.
"Because music is what I've always known. Music is my life and just to know there is somebody out there that really, really and truthfully cares about that part of school is exciting," Foster explained.
Every summer when tens of thousands of country music fans come to Nashville for the CMA Music Festival, a portion of the money they spend here goes to the Keep the Music Playing program.
Nashville School for the Arts senior Sam Hunter had the chance to play guitar for Luke Bryan when he sang his number one hit "Do I" at the concert.
"I don't know how else I would have played out here if it weren't for this program. I've very grateful to be here," Hunter explained.
Since 2006 the CMA has donated $4.7 million to Metro Nashville Public Schools. The money has helped fund music education in the district's 139 schools.