BMI joined music educators from around the nation in honoring three outstanding Americans and the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation for their support of music education. The Music Educators National Conference (MENC), representing more than 65,000 music educators, presented the organization’s coveted FAME Award to Congressman John Conyers Jr., BMI Composer Michael Kamen, and BMI Nashville songwriter/artist Chely Wright. The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, founded by Kamen, also received an award for the work it has done in delivering more than $7 million worth of music instruments to needy schools. The event took place on Wednesday, March 6 at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.
Arriving at the event are Congressman Conyers; Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation Executive Director Felice Mancini; BMI's Frances Preston; Michael Kamen; BMI's Doreen Ringer Ross, who serves as President of the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation; and Los Angeles attorney Robert Urband.
BMI President and CEO Frances Preston presented the award to Congressman Conyers, saying: “When it comes to statesmen, our nation is truly blessed to have the creative skills of one of America’s great legislators in the service of composers, artists, educators and our children.” Praising Kamen and Wright, Preston added: “Each has used their creativity to develop unique and meaningful programs to enrich the opportunities of school children to explore and learn about music.”
FAME Award recipients Congressman Conyers, Michael Kamen and Chely Wright pose with BMI’s Frances Preston.
Composer Michael Kamen makes a point during the evening’s photo call. From left: Mancini, MENC Executive Director John Mahlmann, Kamen, Ringer Ross, Preston and Wright.