National Music Council Presents 2015 American Eagle Awards to Kris Kristofferson, Jim Lauderdale, Jim Halsey, Sherman Halsey & Music Makes Us

Nashville July 11, 2015 – The National Music Council continued its 75th Anniversary Celebrations by bringing its Annual American Eagle Awards presentation to Nashville for the very first time on July 11th as part of the Summer NAMM Show events. The highly prestigious Eagle Awards, are presented each year in national celebration of an individual’s or an organization’s long term contribution to America’s musical culture and heritage.

This year, music legends Kris Kristofferson and Jim Lauderdale were honored, along with country music management icon Jim Halsey and country music producer/director Sherman Halsey. A special award was presented to the Nashville Mayor’s Office, Metro Nashville Public Schools, and Country Music Association & Foundation, for the creation and support of the Music Makes Us arts education initiative.

This year’s celebration included tributes to the honorees by a host of musical greats, including Rosanne Cash, Jack Ingram, The Oak Ridge Boys, Dwight Yoakam, and John Oates.

Dr. David Sanders, director of the National Music Council, notes that the individual recipients are being honored, “not just for the incredible gifts they have given generations of music lovers throughout the world with their creative output… but also for their dedication to encouraging young musicians– and potential musicians – through their great support and commitment to music education.”

Past American Eagle Award recipients include Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Clive Davis, Van Cliburn, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Morton Gould, Dave Brubeck, Marian Anderson, Max Roach, Lena Horne, Roy Clark, Elliott Carter, Roberta Peters, Odetta, Leonard Slatkin, Stephen Sondheim, Sesame Street, Hard Rock Cafe and VH1 Save the Music Foundation. This year’s event in Nashville marks the 32nd year of formal presentations of the Awards.

The awards were preceded by the Council’s annual Leadership in Music symposium, this year focusing on “Fair Trade Music,” with a panel of leading songwriters moderated by NMC board member Charles Sanders. The symposium featured the New York Emmy award winning animation created by the NMC and the Music Publishers Association of the United States as part of a primary school lesson plan that encourages kids to think about the ramifications of taking other people’s creative works without permission. Sanders frames the animated piece as “part of a world-wide effort by creators to change the narrative in terms of fostering an understanding that the online protection of creative works enhances freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas, rather than encroaching on them.“

The National Music Council is celebrating its 75th year as a forum for the free discussion of this country’s national music affairs and challenges. Founded in 1940 to act as a clearing house for the joint opinion and decision of its members and to work to strengthen the importance of music in our life and culture, the Council’s initial membership of 13 has grown to almost 50 national music organizations, encompassing every important form of professional and commercial musical activity.

Through the cooperative work of its member organizations, the National Music Council promotes and supports music and music education as an integral part of the curricula in the schools of our nation, and in the lives of its citizens. The Council provides for the exchange of information and coordination of efforts among its member organizations and speaks with one voice for the music community whenever an authoritative expression of opinion is desirable.