A group of budding musicians from all over the country is in Nashville this week, with a star-packed schedule: They wrote a song called “Bright Eyes” with the Band Perry on Monday. On Tuesday, they’ll hang out with the Swon Brothers at a downtown dance hall. They are set to record “Bright Eyes” with Lee Brice and producer Ross Copperman on Wednesday, followed by singing karaoke with Wynonna and Brett Eldredge later that night. On Thursday, they plan to meet Casey James for lunch and JT Hodges for dinner. And they’ll cap the week with a performance on the coveted Grand Ole Opry stage this Friday, alongside Chris Janson.
This group of singer-songwriters rubbing elbows — and making music — with country stars is all part of ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp, in partnership with Vanderbilt University’s Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. The campers all suffer from Williams Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes cardiovascular, developmental and learning disabilities. The upside to the condition? Its other symptoms include strong verbal skills, highly social personalities and a love of music.
During their songwriting session, the Band Perry’s lead singer Kimberly Perry was blown away by not only the campers’ shared affinity for music, but also their shared talents. “Sometimes it takes us a year to write one song, so it’s really impressive that, in one week, they’ll be writing, recording and performing the song that we wrote,” she says of “Bright Eyes.” “It’s the whole music business process in five days. It takes an eternity for us to just come up with a title; they had it in ten minutes.”
“There’s an excitement that they give off, it’s contagious,” adds Neil Perry. “We had a great time writing this song. It’s about hope and enjoying the company of others.”
Click here to find out how to listen to the ACM Lifting Lives campers perform “Bright Eyes” with Chris Janson on the Grand Ole Opry this Friday, June 27th at 8:45 p.m. CT.