Family band helps young musicians achieve Grand Ole Opry dreams

Story highlights

  • The Annie Moses Band founded the Fine Arts Summer Academy 15 years ago
  • The academy hosts more than 200 students in Nashville every summer
  • Students participate in a master class on becoming professional musicians

(CNN)"Music is magical; it's biological," says Annie Dupre of the Annie Moses Band. "We all understand it by osmosis. That's the miracle of it."

That magical connection inspired Dupre and her bandmates, who also happen to be her siblings, to create the Annie Moses Foundation. It helps fund the Fine Arts Summer Academy -- or FASA -- for aspiring young musicians.
    Every summer for almost 15 years, the Nashville, Tennessee, school has hosted more than 200 students for master classes on becoming professional musicians.
    The students and their families come from around the world. More than half rely on scholarships or financial aid awarded through the Annie Moses Foundation.
    Chad Eulentrop of St. Louis, Missouri and his siblings have attended for four years and consider the experience "unparalleled." It's also something he could not participate in without financial help.
    "Our parents sacrifice a lot for us to have great musical opportunities, but without scholarships from the Annie Moses Foundation we would not have been able to attend FASA," says Eulentrop. "It's a super-intensive two weeks that not only makes you a better musician, but a much better overall performer."
    Chad's brother and fellow attendee Jerome agrees.
    "Most music camps' sole focus is to make you be a better musician on your instrument, and FASA will certainly do that. But the FASA team works especially hard to tailor my time to create a unique experience just for me," he says. "I have performance opportunities in string ensembles, orchestra, vocal and drama."
    The Fine Arts Summer Academy is directed by the Annie Moses Band, an acclaimed classical-crossover ensemble comprised of six siblings.
    In addition to attending music classes during FASA, students perform in several concerts across Nashville.
    One of them is held at the famous Grand Ole Opry. Stepping into that famous circle on the Opry stage gives students "the experience of what success feels like," Dupre says.
    "We live in a world where the arts are incredibly influential and so many people long to not just be professionals but to have an artistic voice to communicate things important to them. The arts are an important medium to do that. For us, it's equipping those young talents to do that," she says.
    "You have some students who are maybe on the verge of quitting an instrument but go home and begin a brand new musical path for themselves because they've been inspired by FASA and the possibilities."