Words & Music Night

45th Annual

Words & Music Night 2024

Each year, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s flagship education program, Words & Music ®: Teach Language Arts Through Songwriting, helps thousands of students put their thoughts, feelings, and ideas into songs. On May 6, 2024, the Museum hosted the 45th annual celebration of Words & Music. School-aged participants and their families gathered in the Museum’s Ford Theater, along with the evening’s host, Monument Records recording artists Tigirlily Gold, to hear a selection of thirteen songs written by students in Nashville and surrounding areas. Throughout the night, students performed their Words & Music compositions alongside their professional songwriting partners and classmates.

Words & Music Night 2024

Selection of Songs from the 2023-2024 School Year 

1. “Catch Me If You Can”
Student Songwriter: Solomon Lanier
Professional co-writer: Anne Buckle

2. “Never Be Forgotten”
Student Songwriter: JP Thomsen
Professional co-writer: Jenn Bostic

3. “It’s You and Me”
Student Songwriter: Bela Shah
Professional co-writers: Jason and Misty Rae Carson

4. “Roaches”
Student Songwriter: Elijah Brownlow
Professional co-writers: Jerry Vandiver and Caitlin Evanson

5. “Timothy the Ghost Engine”
Student Songwriter: Legend Schroeder
Professional co-writer: Ally Lubera

6. “Girls”
Student Songwriter: Caroline Fortune
Professional co-writer: Claire Wyndham

7. “Another Night”
Student Songwriter: Jerius Oliver
With classmate Jed Locke

8. “Put Some Hope Upon My Heart”
Student Songwriter: 7th & 8th grade students at Crossroads School, Ontario, Canada
Professional co-writer: Tim Jones

9. “School”
Student Songwriter: John Ceasar and King Donald Hill
Professional co-writer: Chris Moyse

10. “Beautiful Black Flowers”
Student Songwriter: Regan Kinney
Professional co-writer: Ava Swanson

11. “Peaches”
Student Songwriter: Tyler Hughes
Professional co-writer: Liz Ficalora and Jill Sissel

12. “Over the Years”
Student Songwriter: Hannah Maurer
Professional co-writer: Mason Douglas

13. “My Puppy”
Student Songwriter: Eli Brant
Professional co-writer: Michelle Pereira

Songwriter Bios

Listed in order of performance.

Anne Buckle is a descendant of the Carter Family and a Harvard graduate. A singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and music producer, she has shared the stage with Charlie Daniels, toured with Augustana, and opened for the Chicks. Anne founded 3 Chords, an organization which teaches songwriting to Nashville’s refugee youth as a way of helping them share their stories. As a songwriter, she has penned songs for dozens of artists including David Archuleta, Jacob Westfall, and Marisa McKaye.

Jenn Bostic is a pop/gospel singer based in Nashville, Tennessee. “Jealous of the Angels,” a song written for her late father, reached #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart. She has performed on the stages of The Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. The British Country Music Awards named Bostic “International Touring Artist of the Year” in both 2017 and 2018. Her latest album, You Find a Way, created with Grammy-nominated producer and hit songwriter, Lauren Christy, was released July 2022 and named Album of the Year at the 2022 Louder than the Music Awards.

Jason and Misty Carson are a husband-and-wife duo based in Nashville, Tennessee. Jason began his music performance career at a young age as a Mouseketeer on the New Mickey Mouse Club. He then went on to become a front member of the country band, Shiloh. Misty, a Texas native, has opened for Ray Price, Bill Anderson, and Don Williams. She released an independent single, “Woke Up One Day,” which was added to over 100 radio stations nationwide.

Jerry Vandiver has been a songwriter for Words & Music since 1991. His songs can be heard on countless records, and two are on display on the wall of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection of RIAA-certified records. His songs have been recorded by Lee Greenwood, Lonestar, Barbara Mandrell, Tim McGraw, the Oak Ridge Boys, Phil Vassar, and Gene. Jerry can be found leading writers’ rounds at the Bluebird Cafe and other venues around Nashville.

Caitlin Evanson plays fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and sings background vocals. As a long-time member of Taylor Swift’s band, she has performed on dozens of awards shows and television specials and collaborated with a diverse range of artists including Def Leppard, Selena Gomez, Faith Hill, Jennifer Lopez, John Mayer, Tim McGraw, Nicki Minaj, Stevie Nicks, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and Usher. Evanson has also recorded and toured with Shakira, Michael W. Smith, and Ringo Starr. Caitlin writes and records her own music and works as a session string player and singer.

Ally Lubera is a singer-songwriter and Americana artist from Chicago. She has performed at the Chicago Blues Festival, the House of Blues, Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theater, Pittsburg’s PPG Paints Arena, and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. In 2017, she was an opening act on Bon Jovi’s This House Is Not for Sale Tour. She is an alumna of Interlochen Arts Academy and serves on their songwriter faculty.

Claire Wyndham is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose music has taken her all around the globe. After achieving success in her native Australia, she moved to Nashville in 2010. She signed a publishing deal in 2013 and found her niche placing songs in film and television. Claire’s songs have been featured on networks like HBO, CBS, NBC, The CW Freeform, and MTV. In 2022, she released an EP Waves with her duo the Lonely Fighters.

Tim Jones is a singer-songwriter and member of the band Whisky Wolves of the West, along with musical partner Leroy Powell. Their first release Country Roots was heralded by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top Ten Country EPs of 2018. Tim has contributed to hundreds of recordings including collaborations with Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes and Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket, as well as written songs for Shelly Fairchild, Jaime McLean, Tony Lucca, Szlachetka, Emily West, and Nicki Bluhm.

Chris Moyse grew up in New England and moved to Nashville in 2013 to pursue a music career. He won the 46th annual Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition and was selected to perform at the 2018 Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival in Texas. He has shared the stage with folk troubadours Joe Ely, Tim O’Brien, and members of Old Crow Medicine Show. Chris released his first full-length album Bitter Ballads & Cynical Prayers in 2020.

Ava Swanson is a singer-songwriter originally from Montana. She released her first EP, Calling on the Modern World, in 2021. While working on her master’s degree in music business at Berklee College of Music, she released her single, “Molly,” with Disrupción Records in 2022. Her latest EP, Good Music, was released in 2023.

Jill Sissel is a singer-songwriter originally from Midvale, Utah and has lived in Nashville since 1998. She has opened for Dan Seals, Ty England, JoDee Messina, and Tracey Lawrence. Her album Haunted Highway won Best Americana Album at the 2020 Just Plain Folks Music Awards. Her trio, Sissel Reid Band, alongside Amy Reid and Liz Ficalora, released their album River Town in 2020.

Liz Ficalora is a drummer, audio engineer, producer, and songwriter. She has performed with Pam Tillis, Stella Parton, Charlie Louvin, Billy Prine, and Walter Egan. She was the winner of Best American Album Producer and Best Contemporary Song at the 2020 Just Plain Folks Music Awards. Liz is the author of the book, How to Write a Fast and Easy Drum Chart, published by Alfred Publishing. She also created and designed the drum charting software Drum Chart Builder.

Mason Douglas is an artist, songwriter, writer, and producer. He has spent the last decade as a Nashville songwriter working with the likes of HARDY, Sam Hunt, Kid Rock, Old Dominion, Dylan Scott, and Tenille Townes. His song “American Beauty” reached the Billboard Top 40. Mason’s songs have been featured on the Olympics and Fox Sports, and he has released several albums, most recently his self-produced and self-written EP P/K/A. Mason has shared the stage with Trace Adkins, Brothers Osborne, Vince Gill, Jewel, Dustin Lynch, and Chris Stapleton.

Michelle Pereira is a singer-songwriter born and raised outside of Toronto, Ontario. She has performed at various iconic venues around Nashville, including the Bluebird Cafe, the Listening Room, 3rd and Lindsley, EXIT/IN, and City Winery. In March of 2019, Michelle was selected to be a part of ASCAP’s 2019 GPS (Guidance from Publishers for Songwriters) program. In February 2020, she won the Bluebird Cafe Golden Pick contest for best original song.

2023-2024 Participating Schools and Organizations

Arrington Elementary School
Battle Ground Academy
Bellshire Elementary School
Berry Head Start
Blackman Homeschool Co-op
Cane Ridge Elementary
Capshaw Elementary
Chadwell Elementary School
Cheatham County Central High School
Children’s House Nashville
Christ Presbyterian Academy
Clarksville High School
Clovercroft Elementary School
College Grove Elementary
Columbia Central High School
The Covenant School
Creekside Elementary
Crockett Elementary School
David Youree Elementary School
Dickson Elementary School
The Discovery School
Donelson Christian Academy
Dudley Head Start
Eagleville School
East Hickman Intermediate School
East Robertson Elementary School
Ensworth School
Erma Siegel Elementary
Explore! Community School
Fall-Hamilton Elementary School
Firm In Totality Homeschool
Franklin Road Academy
Gallatin High School
Gateway Elementary School
Generation Changers Academy
Glen Leven Day School
Granbery Elementary
Grassland Elementary School
Harding Academy
Head Magnet Middle School
Henry C. Maxwell Elementary
Heritage Elementary School
Hermitage Dance Academy
Hickman Elementary
Holy Trinity Montessori
Homer Pittard Campus School
Hull-Jackson Elementary School
Hunters Bend Elementary School
Hunters Lane High School
Jordan Elementary School
Julia Green Elementary
Lighthouse Christian School
Linden Elementary School
Lipscomb Academy
Lookout Valley Elementary
Maury Middle School
McFadden School of Excellence
McGavock Elementary School
McGavock High School
Montgomery Central High School
Nashville Big Picture High School
Nashville International Center for Empowerment
Nashville School of the Arts
Oak Hill School
Oasis Center
Plainview Elementary School
Portland High School
Portland Montessori Academy
Prescott South Middle School
Preston Taylor Ministries
Reach Early Learning
Red Bank Elementary
Richland Head Start
Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School
Rose Park Middle School
Ruby Major Elementary School
Boy Scouts of America Troop 2223
Sister Cities of Nashville
Smith Springs Elementary
St. Ann School
St. Bernard Academy
St. Joseph School
St. Mary’s Episcopal School
Stanford Montessori Elementary School
Stewarts Creek High School
Sumner Academy
Sunset Elementary
Susan Gray Head Start
Tennessee Connections Academy
Thompson’s Station Middle School
Thurgood Marshall Middle School
Tom Joy Elementary School
Trinity Elementary School
Tulip Grove Elementary School
Tusculum Elementary School
Una Elementary School
Vanderbilt University
W.A. Wright Elementary School
Westmeade Elementary School
Winstead Elementary School
Woodmont Baptist Weekday Preschool
Youth Encouragement Services

Battlefield Elementary, Fort Oglethorpe, GA
Cambewarra Public School, Cambewarra, NSW, Australia
Carcross Alternative Program, Carcross, YT, Canada
Crossroads School, Devlin, ON, Canada
Danville-Neel Elementary, Danville, AL
East Stroudsburg High School South, East Stroudsburg, PA
Explore Up Close, Spartanburg, PA
Henry County Library, Clinton, MO
L.V. Stockard Middle School, Dallas, TX
Levi Anderson Learning Center, Beaverton, OR
Mahaffey Middle School, Fort Campbell, KY
Marvin E. Robinson School Of Business and Management at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, Dallas, TX
Mt. Tabor Elementary School, New Albany, IN
North Marshall Middle School, Calvert City, KY
North Texas Collegiate Academy East, Little Elm, TX
Oakcrest Elementary, West Jordan, UT
Ovid Elsie Middle School, Elsie, MI
P.S. 253Q – The Randolph Holder School for Social Justice, Far Rockaway, NY
P.S. 333 Manhattan School for Children, Brooklyn, NY
Prescott Valley Public Library, Prescott Valley, AZ
River Springs Middle School, Sanford, FL
Shelton School And Evaluation Center, Dallas, TX
South Johnston High School, Four Oaks, NC
St. Brigid’s/Our Lady of Hope Regional School, Westbury, NY
University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
Westchester Country Day School, High Point, NC

About Words & Music

Since 1979, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has helped students tell their stories through its innovative Words & Music program. More than 160,000 students have learned to write song lyrics while developing key skills in language arts. Not only does Words & Music teach core curriculum, but it also connects young people to Nashville’s music community, pairing classes with songwriters who transform student lyrics into finished songs that are performed in an interactive workshop.

Watch Past Words & Music Nights

Words & Music Night 2023
Words & Music Night 2022
Words & Music Night 2021
Words & Music Night 2020

2023-2024 Words & Music Funders

Words & Music is made possible by the Country Music Association Endowment for Words & Music and is funded in part by American Airlines; Chet Atkins Music Education Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee; CMA; CMA Foundation; Don Gibson American Music Foundation; Dollar General Literacy Foundation; The Hello in There Foundation; The Memorial Foundation; Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission; Nashville Predators Foundation; PNC Grow Up Great; and Tennessee Arts Commission.

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