Press Release: National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Presents Country Music Artist Sarah Darling with “Stand for Music” Award

Darling participates in Hill Day advocacy visits; performs at 2013 National Leadership Assembly

Sarah Darling receives “Stand for Music” award from NAfME President Nancy Ditmer


RESTON, VA (July 2, 2013) – It’s called the “Stand for Music” award and it’s something that remarkably few people ever have the honor of receiving.

Country music artist Sarah Darling can now count herself as one of those unique individuals who’ve been so recognized by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

Last Saturday, NAfME President Nancy Ditmer presented the “Stand for Music” award to Ms. Darling before a packed audience of music education leaders from across the U.S. at the association’s 2013 National Leadership Assembly in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

“The Stand for Music award is not given every year, because there’s no guarantee that in each 365 day period there will be a worthy individual,” explained Ditmer, as a standing ovation greeted the Nashville-based performer who had just performed before the same group the previous evening.

“In a time when celebrities and politicians say all the right things but often do not back up their words with actions, Sarah Darling is a wonderful exception,” she went on.

Ditmer was referring to Darling’s participation on Capitol Hill on Friday, where she joined more than 130 of the music educators making the rounds to lobby for legislation that will keep music and arts a priority in public school curriculums.

The singer, who has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry stage nearly 35 times, was fully engaged with NAfME members throughout the long day, dropping off “Share Your Story” books and leave-behind materials on both the House and Senate sides, while talking passionately about her own commitment to helping preserve music in the nation’s schools.

“I believe it is so important for our leaders to understand the immense benefit that music education has in young people’s lives – no matter what career they pursue.  Music entertains, inspires and heals.  I’m honored that NAfME has given me the chance to be heard,” Darling said.

NAfME and Darling look forward to doing future work together as they continue spreading the message of how music education can “orchestrate success” in the lives of people everywhere, through lobbying efforts and public outreach.

For more information on NAfME, visit or contact Nelson Duffle, NAfME Digital Communications Manager at

For more information on Sarah Darling, visit or contact Amanda French, Marquee Public Relations, LLC, at



National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century.



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