Power of Music Festival Brings Hall of Fame Songwriters to Bentonville, Arkansas
Five members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and a newly-announced inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame will perform at the 2018 Power of Music Festival to be held April 26-29 in Bentonville, Arkansas. A portion of proceeds will benefit songwriting programs in area schools. Tickets are available now.
Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame members who will be performing include: Tony Arata (“The Dance” by Garth Brooks, “Here I Am” by Patty Loveless), Roger Cook (“Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” by The Hollies; “I Just Want to Dance With You” by George Strait), Randy Goodrum (“You Needed Me” by Anne Murray; “Oh Sherrie” by Steve Perry), Richard Leigh (“Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” by Crystal Gayle; “The Greatest Man I Never Knew” by Reba McEntire); and Dennis Morgan (“I Knew You Were Waiting” by Aretha Franklin & George Michael; “Smoky Mountain Rain” by Ronnie Milsap).
In addition, Steve Dorff – whose induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame was just announced — will perform at the festival. His songwriting credits include Anne Murray’s “I Just Fall in Love Again,” Kenny Rogers’ “Through the Years” and George Strait’s “I Cross My Heart,” among many others. Dorff published his memoir, I Wrote That One Too…A Life in Songwriting from Willie to Whitney, in 2017.
Additional performers will include indie-Americana trio The Accidentals, Nashville vocal group Farewell Angelina, Latin rock ‘n’ roll band Making Movies, folk artist Steve Poltz (“You Were Meant for Me” by Jewel), songwriter Jerry Salley (“Outlaw State of Mind” by Chris Stapleton), Keith Sykes (“Volcano” by Jimmy Buffett; “You Got Gold” by John Prine), and Emmy-winning composer Jonathan Wolff (Seinfeld, Will & Grace, Married with Children), along with numerous local songwriters.
MusiCares®, a charity of the Recording Academy™ that offers emergency financial assistance, addiction recovery resources, and wellness initiatives to members of the music industry, is partnering with the Power of Music Festival to provide eligible music pros with custom ear plugs as a walk-up service during the event.
The festival is presented by the I’ll Fly Away Foundation, based in Bentonville, Arkansas. A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit the organization’s You Can Fly Songwriting Program, which allows students of varying developmental levels to use songwriting to connect to their own creativity. As part of this program, established songwriters come into schools to personally craft songs with students.
The program has already seen marked success in elementary schools in McDonald Country, Missouri, and will expand into Springdale, Arkansas, in 2018. The songwriting program is also part of the curriculum in a charter school in Oklahoma City. A study surveying the past three years of the program indicates that students’ test scores have risen 3.9 percent in math, 8.1 percent in literacy and 18 percent in science after incorporating the program into the curriculum.
Betsy Brumley, who co-founded the festival with Kevin Bernier in 2017, says, “Songwriting provides insight into a person’s mind by offering a different form of communication. In addition, songwriting helps people express emotions they may not be able to verbalize. Evidence shows that music education provides an overall improvement in student attendance, improved grades, tolerance and empathy in class and social situations.”
The I’ll Fly Away Foundation is named for the iconic gospel song, “I’ll Fly Away,” which was written by Albert E. Brumley, the grandfather of Betsy Brumley. The Power of Music Festival strives to make all genres and aspects of music accessible to Bentonville, Arkansas, and surrounding communities. The full festival lineup will be revealed in the coming weeks, featuring songwriters and artists from numerous genres of music.
Coca-Cola is the 2018 presenting sponsor of the Power of Music Festival. Louis Martin, President of Coca-Cola’s Walmart, Inc., Team, says, “Coca-Cola is proud to support the songwriters’ festival and the foundation’s work to bring songwriting and music education to our local schools. We are grateful for the amazing talent this festival brings to Northwest Arkansas and the positive impact it makes on our local community.”