National Music Council to Honor Take 6 and Music Educators of America at 37th Annual American Eagle Awards

June 1, 2021 — The National Music Council will honor iconic a cappella group Take 6, and pay tribute to music educators across America for their extraordinary service during the pandemic, at the organization’s 37th annual American Eagle Awards on Thursday, July 15, 2021 at the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville.  The honors are presented each year in recognition of those who have made long-term contributions to American musical culture, to showcase the ideal of music education for all children, and to support the protection of creators’ rights both locally and internationally.

The most honored a cappella group in history, Take 6 has been heralded by Quincy Jones as the “Baddest vocal cats on the planet!”  With 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, 2 NAACP Image Awards, a Soul Train Award, and more, Take 6 (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley) continues year after year to bring extraordinary vocal performances to their worldwide audiences. Take 6 has adeptly crossed almost every musical genre, from straight-ahead jazz to pop, R&B, doo wop and blues. Like a finely-tuned vocal orchestra, the group continues to push the boundaries of creativity and musical genius with every new release, demonstrating excellence for new generations of musicians and fans.

The Council likewise takes great pride in collectively extending the coveted American Eagle Award to all of the nation’s music educators for their heroic efforts to “keep the music playing” during the Covid-19 pandemic. “We wanted to do something special for the music teachers and administrators who have worked tirelessly in our schools and in private studios across the nation for our children under the most challenging of circumstances over the past year.” said NMC director Dr. David Sanders. “We want to let music teachers know that their efforts really do make an enormous, positive difference in the lives of students, especially in times of a crisis.” A representative music educator from each state will participate virtually in the ceremonies.

In 2020-21, the National Music Council brought diverse artists from across the country to produce a series of video messages thanking music educators and administrators for their continuing perseverance during these challenging times. Many of America’s greatest artists and songwriters participated, including Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Paul Shaffer, Rosanne Cash, John Rich (Big & Rich), Jim Lauderdale, Steve Winwood, Nile Rodgers (Chic), Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Take 6, and the late Chick Corea – along with Country Music Television’s “Next Women of Country” Class of 2021 group Chapel Hart and up and coming singer-songwriter Paige King Johnson, all offer inspirational words throughout the video. They join us in congratulating our music teachers at this year’s American Eagle Awards.

This year’s honorees will join a “who’s – who” of musical giants whose careers and works have been previously awarded the American Eagle, including Stephen Sondheim, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Clive Davis, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Morton Gould, Dave Brubeck, Marian Anderson, Max Roach, Lena Horne, Roy Clark, Crystal Gale, George Clinton, Ervin Drake, Theo Bikel, Vince Guaraldi, Roberta Peters, Odetta, Patti Smith, Sesame Street, Hard Rock Café, and VH1’s Save the Music Foundation. Tickets for this event are available to the general public, and the entire ceremonies will be Livestreamed via

For more information on schedule, location details, tickets, and sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact NMC Director David Sanders at

Proceeds from the event support the National Music Council’s music education advocacy efforts.

The National Music Council

The Congressionally-chartered National Music Council is celebrating its 81st year as a forum for the free discussion of this country’s national music affairs and challenges. Founded in 1940 to act as a clearinghouse for the joint opinion and decision of its members and to work to strengthen the importance of music in our lives 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.


The Summer NAMM Show is the mid-year global gathering of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and its many member companies, representing the global music products industry, including music instruments and pro audio products, music retailers and educators and house of worship professionals. The awards are presented with support from The NAMM Foundation, a non-profit which works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan through scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.