Music on Main

SECOND-YEAR students gather to start the current Music on Main program at Princess Theatre in Winnsboro. A grant from the CMA Foundation made the continuation of the project possible.

The sounds of guitar music will once again fill the Princess Theatre as the second year of Music on Main kicks off this month.

The music education program received another year’s funding through a grant from the CMA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association (CMA).

“We were so thrilled with the success of the program last year,” said Daphanie Dailey, Princess Board vice president and coordinator of Music on Main. “And we couldn’t be happier to learn that funding was approved for a second year.” 

The program was launched last year through the efforts of the Princess Theatre and country music superstar Kix Brooks. Brooks, who has ties to Franklin Parish, was interested in broadening music education to local youth and steered the Princess to the CMA Foundation’s grant program. The pilot program was approved, and Brooks even secured guitars from a country music friend.

“It was a wonderful first year, and we all learned a lot,” Dailey said. “We had three great local instructors – who are all returning this year – and 15 students from throughout the parish who benefited from the lessons and received their own guitars.”

This year 16 new students were selected after an application process and interviews, and five students from last year’s program will continue to deepen their knowledge and skills, extending even to song writing.

“The idea is to is to grow musicians,” Dailey said. “Through lessons where students learn to play the guitar, learn about music theory and Louisiana’s musical heritage, our goal is to instill develop an interest in music and a desire for students to progress as musicians.”

Guiding the students again this year will be instructors Hank Jones, Caleb McDaniel and Michael Young. Lessons are held once a week at the Princess Theatre with the program funding the entire cost – including guitars for the students. The 15-week program will culminate with a performance for family and friends.

“We worked with Matt’s Music in Monroe to come up with the best equipment we could afford for our students,” Dailey said. “We appreciate their help in this.”

Dailey added that the goals of the program dovetail perfectly with the mission of the Princess Theatre, which is to enrich the community through entertainment, education and the arts.

“The CMA Foundation values the work being done through Music on Main and we are pleased to continue our investment in this program for another year,” states Tiffany Kerns, executive director, CMA Foundation. “Providing students with access to high-quality music education programs has an immense impact on their overall academic success.”

Multiple studies have shown that students who participate in the arts are more likely to graduate, have better attendance rates, and have higher GPAs than students who are not enrolled in an arts program. Guided by the generosity of the Country Music community, the CMA Foundation is committed to improving and sustaining music education programs across the United States, working to ensure every child has the opportunity to participate in music education. 

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for local students to, hopefully, begin a lifelong appreciation of music and gain the knowledge and skills they need to enjoy it for many years to come,” Dailey said.

Established in 2011 as the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association (CMA), the CMA Foundation is committed to improving and sustaining music education programs across the United States, working to ensure every child has the opportunity to participate in music education. Through strategic partnerships, professional development and grant distribution, the CMA Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), has invested more than $27 million across the national public school system, after school programs, summer camps and community outreach organizations. Guided by the generosity of the Country Music community, proceeds from CMA Fest, the four-day long music festival held annually in Nashville, are used to power the CMA Foundation’s social impact and unique model of giving. For more information visit CMAfoundation.org.

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