Carrie Underwood gave an elementary school choir the surprise of their lives when she visited them as the children prepared to perform one of her songs at the annual CMA Music Festival.
For months, third and fourth grade students from the Andrew Jackson Elementary School Eagle Honor Choir have been working hard to perfect Underwood’s song, “The Champion.”
The choir, directed by three-time CMA Foundation Music Teacher of Excellence winner Franklin Willis, produced a music video of Underwood’s song earlier this year, which attracted the attention of both the CMA Foundation and Underwood herself.
The students were invited to perform at the 2019 CMA Music Festival, and were in their final rehearsals at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium when Underwood dropped by to surprise them.
“You could see how much love and thought and hard work was put into this,” Underwood said in a CMA Foundation video of the surprise.
“I heard they were over here rehearsing today, so I just thought I’d drop by and give my love and encouragement,“ Underwood said. “I know that they’ve been working so hard, I just can’t wait to hear them and see them.”
Willis, who was in on the surprise, knew that his students were going to be ecstatic.
“This will be something they will remember for a lifetime,” Willis said.
As Willis gave his choir some performance feedback, he announced that a guest was waiting to meet them, and could perhaps make their upcoming performance even better.
At that moment, Underwood walked out from behind the curtain and onto the stage with a bright authentic grin and some inspiring words for the young vocalists.
The students were visibly shocked, some even moved to tears.
“I never thought that it was going to be, like, Carrie Underwood caring about us. It was really special,” one of the students said.
Underwood’s stamp of approval gave the choir just the added confidence they needed to take their performance to the next level.
“You guys are going to be so amazing,” Underwood told the choir. “That crowd is not going to know what hit ’em.”