The 2nd Annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp – a week-long residential program open to campers nationwide with developmental disabilities, talented in music – will start start on Monday, June 27, with a number of stars lining up to help.

Superstars volunteering time to participate include Gary Allan, Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood and Wynonna, along with hit songwriters Odie Blackmon and Brett James, and renowned producer Mark Bright.

The Camp has a dual purpose of studying Williams syndrome and other developmental disabilities and providing music enrichment through performance and education. ACM Lifting Lives funds the costs of the Camp, enabling the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities to advance its mission of improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through research, training and service.

Campers will participate in a songwriting workshop and recording session, culminating in a live performance at the Grand Ole Opry. At the Opry, campers will reprise their 2011 ACM Awards hit Music from the Heart and share an original song they will write at this year’s camp. Throughout the week, campers will also gain the invaluable experience of visits from top-tier country music veterans. Prior camps have featured artist visits from Kix Brooks, Julianne Hough, Eddie Montgomery, LeAnn Rimes and more.

In 2010, ACM Lifting Lives began fully funding what was previously called the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Music Camp, with a $30,000 grant to underwrite the costs of the first-ever ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp. The grant enables the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center to continue to advance its mission of improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through research, training and service. Developmental disabilities are a diverse group of physical and mental conditions that includes genetic syndromes and autism spectrum disorders. They begin anytime during development up to 22 years of age and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime. People with these disabilities have difficulty with major life activities such as language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that intellectual developmental disabilities affect one in five individuals.

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • Monday, June 27th – 9:30am-12noon: Songwriting Workshop with Gary Allan, Odie Blackmon & Brett James, at University School of Nashville.
  • Tuesday, June 28th – 4:00pm-5:00pm: Visit to Manuel with Little Big Town, at Manuel’s on Broadway.
  • Tuesday, June 28th – 5:00pm-8:00pm: Dinner & Karaoke with Wynonna, at Winner’s Bar.
  • Wednesday, June 29th – Recording Session with Mark Bright and Carrie Underwood (closed to media)
  • Friday, July 1st – 7:00pm-8:00pm: LIVE Performance with Darius Rucker at the Grand Ole Opry.

Find out more here.

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