Yesterday ‘Music City’ celebrated the single most successful benefit recording series in musical history. Amidst the midday summer heat, a crowd gathered on the second floor terrace of Blackbird Studios in Nashville to pay homage to the 25th anniversary of “A Very Special Christmas” holiday music series.
Special Olympics athletes, coaches, family members and staff mingled with an array of music industry artists and executives as two new albums were unveiled for this music series that has generated more than $100 million in royalties to benefit Special Olympics since 1987.
You can click on the link below to read more about those albums (mark your calendars, they are available on October 16th) but beyond the celebration, take a moment to reflect on the impact this music has for those whom Christmas once a year is not enough.
Comments from the music executives who spoke at yesterday’s press conference gave a sentiment of awe – “We are thrilled to be a part of something bigger than ourselves” and humility – “To much is given, much is expected.”
Yesterday after the cameras and the media dissipated some of the local staff of the record labels involved in the 25th anniversary albums reflected on the story of Donald, a Special Olympics athlete from Ireland who was written off by doctors as a baby due to his severe disability and eventually adored by fans during the 18 minutes it took him to move a beanbag.
There are millions of other Donald’s in this world, each with their own story of personal achievement and championship moments of pride. So many of those moments have unknowingly been made possible by the funds generated through 25 years of holiday music. I hope that in the coming months as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of “A Very Special Christmas” that we hear about more impactful stories like Cindy Bentley in Wisconsin or Najila Agha from Afghanistan.
Tracks from Christina Aguilera to Dave Matthews to Train will be released as part of these albums this holiday season bringing more joy to the world than can be put into words. Just ask Special Olympics Tennessee athlete Jimmy Clark, who stood at the podium in Nashville yesterday trying to explain to the media how he knows the feeling that the world’s greatest athletes feel when they stand on the podium. There weren’t quite words to emulate what he was getting at, but the sound of the medals that hung around his neck clinging against each other was music to everyone’s ears.
Read more: http://www.averyspecialchristmas.org/press/25th-anniversary