Friday, October 18, 2013


Casey James, Sarah Darling, Striking Matches and Mark Wilkinson to Perform Opening Night of 2013 NAFME National In-Service Conference at Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 18, 2013) – On October 27, 2013, some of music’s top new recording artists will come together at the historic Grand Ole Opry House to shine the spotlight on the work of music teachers and show their gratitude for all that educators do to spread the joy of music in our nation’s schools. The special concert will kick-off the 2013 National Association of Music Education’s (NAFME) National In-Service Conference, and admission is FREE to all conference attendees, invited guests and All-National Honor Ensemble students.

American Idol finalist and 19/Columbia Records recording artist Casey James, known for country radio hits “Let’s Don’t Call It A Night,” and “Crying On Her Suitcase,” is an advocate for access to music in schools. “I really appreciate what music teachers are doing for aspiring musicians," he said. "Music education is very important to me and I’m glad I can be a part of NAFME’s Conference."

Country music star Sarah Darling, 2013 recipient of NAFME’s "Stand for Music" Award, adds, “My 7th and 8th grade music teacher, Ms. Stephanie Rumple, was a great influence on me. It was her careful guidance and passion for the arts that started me on my musical journey. I feel like I owe her, and all of the music teachers out there who help preserve music in our schools a huge ‘thank-you’, for all they do. This concert will hopefully resonate with them as our way of showing thanks for their work that sometimes goes unrecognized!”

James and Darling will join their peers Striking Matches (MTV/VH1/CMT’s O Music Awards finalist) and Australian chart-topper Mark Wilkinson (“Middle Ground,” “All I Ever Wanted’), to perform their fan-favorite songs in an exclusive, intimate setting reserved for those who inspire students through music.

The concert at the Grand Ole Opry House is one of the many highlights planned for the four-day NAFME National In-Service Conference taking place October 27 - 30, where the main theme centers around ways in which “Music Education Orchestrates Success”— in school, in work, and in life. 

 Teachers and school administrators who attend will address the proposed re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, gain new insights into how classroom teaching styles are being evaluated, attend targeted professional development workshops, and celebrate the achievements of some of the nation’s most distinguished student musicians.

For additional program information, please visit 

National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAFME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 70,000 members, the organization is the voice of music education in the United States. Follow NAFME on Twitter ( and on Facebook (

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