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Creativity, Collaboration, and Country Music at a Camp for Teens With Williams Syndrome

"Music is such a powerful outlet for every individual, no matter their circumstance, no matter where they are in life."


That's how Clancey Hopper of Nashville, Tennessee describes the impact of the country music camp run by ACM Lifting Lives®, the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music. Clancey participated in the camp for 7 years, from age 16 to age 23. And she was able to turn her experience into a fulfilling career at the Grand Ole Opry, one of Nashville's historic and iconic country music venues.

The thing that makes the Lifting Lives® camp special is that it's designed specifically for young people with Williams Syndrome, a developmental disorder that affects different parts of the body and the personality of the person living with it.

Perhaps it's no surprise that Clancey ended up with a great job in music! According to the National Institute of Health, people with Williams Syndrome "tend to do well on tasks that involve spoken language [and] music." And during the week-long Lifting Lives® camp, participants get to flex their musical talents in a number of different ways. Accompanied by some of the stars of country music, campers compose, sing, and perform original songs throughout the week, culminating in a performance onstage at the Grand Ole Opry itself!

In our original video about this Lifting Lives® camp, you can hear from Clancey and her parents, about what the annual experience meant for the young woman who was always attracted to music.

This video was produced by Tracy Chevrier and shot/edited by Matt Scott. To see more videos like this, check out our HooplaHa YouTube page!

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