Country Music Association Gives Nearly $3 Million to Music Education, Flood Relief

Tapping into proceeds from its 2010 CMA Music Festival — its most successful one to date — the Country Music Association has donated $2,924,936 to Nashville’s Keep the Music Playing educational initiative and to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s relief program for victims of the massive flood that struck the region in May. The donation was split evenly between the two charities. CMA chief Steve Moore, Nashville mayor Karl Dean and CMA board member Kix Brooks announced the contribution Wednesday (Oct. 6) at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Ford Theater. Duncan McPherson, a sophomore guitar student at the Nashville School of the Arts, one of the funds recipients, entertained the media and music industry figures by playing the semi-classical piece, “Mood for a Day.” Said Brooks when McPherson concluded his performance, “I don’t think any of those chords are in ’Red Dirt Road,’ ” a reference to Brooks & Dunn’s 2003 hit. Brooks chronicled the CMA’s use of its events income from the time the festival was called Fan Fair (and the income, as he said, “went into a black hole”) until its current high-profile donations. So far, the CMA has donated $4,774,521 toward music education. Luke Bryan and Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild unveiled the checks.