The Nashville Children’s Choir (NCC), a Belmont ensemble, had the opportunity to sing back-up vocals for performing artists Michael W. Smith, Darius Rucker and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles during the “CMA Country Christmas” special filmed Fri., Nov. 8, at Bridgestone Arena.
The NCC’s 23 Touring Choir choristers are coached by directors James Wells, an adjunct instructor in the School of Music, and Madeline Bridges, associate dean of the School of Music. The choir rehearsed the music, recorded their vocal parts at a local studio and then sang in the live taping in front of a capacity crowd at Bridgestone Arena.
“The choristers had a fantastic experience performing with these big-name artists and experiencing the behind-the scenes procedures and processes required to produce such a major event,” Bridges said.
The Nashville Children’s Choir is a city-wide choir program for boys and girls ages eight to 18. The choir is a part of the pre-college music program, the Belmont Academy. Since its founding in 1991, the NCC program has been in residence at Belmont and functions as an ensemble of Belmont University School of Music, singing regularly as a part of “Christmas at Belmont.”
In addition, many Belmont students and alumni performed in the orchestra during the special. The live orchestra on stage for the event included six string players who are current Belmont music majors or recent graduates.
Nettles hosted the special, and performers included Lady Antebellum, Mary J. Blige, Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker and Belmont Trustee Michael W. Smith. The program will air at 8 p.m. Central/9 p.m. Eastern on Mon., Dec. 2 on ABC.