The Academy of Country Music wrapped up its eighth annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp this week in Nashville with Dierks Bentley, Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Young and Jerrod Niemann all pitching in to teach the campers. The weeklong program assembles and assists people ages 16 into their 50s who are afflicted with Williams syndrome. The genetic condition can manifest via cardiovascular disease and learning disabilities, but those with Williams syndrome also often have a special gift for music.
The Lifting Lives camp featured Bentley and producer Ross Copperman inspiring the campers to write a song, Ballerini leading a recording session and Niemann taking the group out for a night of karaoke and dinner at a Nashville nightspot. Young capped the week by joining the group in performing their original song – “I Love Big” – onstage at the Grand Ole Opry.
The ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp is held in partnership with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.