NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of the Tennessee State University Choir will once again be performing at the Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night.
The choir performed at the 51st CMA Awards last year, and students and faculty say they are looking forward to doing it again at the show scheduled for 7 p.m. at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
“I’m really excited,” said choir member Destiny Pennington, a freshman from Detroit. “It’s something that I’ve never done before and have always wanted to do.”
Junior DeMicheal Martin agreed.
“It’s exciting, and it’s also an opportunity to showcase our great university,” said Martin, of Memphis.
Last year, the choral students appeared as backup singers to some of the biggest names in country music, including Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire. The students were invited along with the Portara Ensemble, to kick off the awards show, which was broadcast live on national television from the Music City Center.
Dr. Susan Kelly, the choir’s director, said the opportunity to sing at the CMAs again is a testimony to the hard work of the students and the success they’re having.
“The choir program has grown so much over the past three years and I am delighted that they are beginning to get opportunities and recognition in the Nashville community,” Kelly said.
Dr. Robert Elliott, chair of TSU’s Department of Music, shared similar sentiment.
“The CMAs are a hallmark of excellence in Nashville; so is TSU,” he said. “Dr. Kelly and her students once more do all of us at TSU proud.”
The choir’s performance will be TSU’s second encounter with country music stardom this year. In August, the university’s famed Aristocrat of Bands performed with megastar Keith Urban at Bridgestone Arena during his tour stop in Nashville. The band was featured as a part of Urban’s closing hit song, “Wasted Time.”
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With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.