By Dani Brown, Arts Education Special Projects Coordinator –
This year’s Poetry Out Loud (POL) State Competition will be emceed by Victoria Shaw, an award-winning songwriter who has scored four country #1 hits and won Song of the Year honors from the Academy of Country Music. She penned “I Love the Way You Love Me” (John Michael Montgomery), “The River” (Garth Brooks), “Too Busy Being in Love” (Doug Stone), and songs recorded by Eric Church, Faith Hill, and Reba, among others. Shaw’s music has had success beyond the country genre. She wrote the adult contemporary hit “Never Alone” (Jim Brickman with Lady Antebellum) and a Latin chart-topper “Nobody Wants to Be Lonely” (Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera).
Music during the event is provided by Chapmansboro, Tennessee native Ivy Phillips, a multi-instrumentalist and fiddle champion. At fourteen, she has won several state contest titles, plays in numerous bands, and is a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Youth Council. She is the current Grand Master Fiddler Championship youth champion and has performed on the Grand Ole Opry, among other prestigious stages across the country. For the Poetry Out Loud performance, Phillips will be joined by her brother, Grayson Phillips, on bass; Jake Patty on guitar; and Abbey Wade on mandolin.
The competition takes place Saturday, March 4 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The event is free and open to the public.