MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Old Dominion just won Vocal Group of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards last week.

They are now in the Twin Cities working with some local students, as is singer-songwriter Josh Osborne.

The songwriters met with a select group of Columbia Heights High School students interested in writing songs and music.

“All of us walk around all day listening to everything people are saying, waiting for something to, like, poke us in the brain, and we go, ‘OK,’ and we write it down,” said Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey.

Columbia Heights is one of just a handful of schools around the country selected to be part of the CMA Songwriters Series, where students hear about the process from the pros,

“It’s really amazing to be on the same platform as people who write their own music, and show you can be successful pursuing your dreams and doing it yourself,” said songwriter student Sophie Kuether.

Principal Dan Wrobleski says the district focuses on unique learning experiences like this, which drive home the message through art with heart.

“We like to say if you have a dream or a goal and passion about it, we want to give you that opportunity,” Wrobleski said.

And it’s how the CMA Foundation gives back to communities they visit.

“Sometimes we’re not meeting the students with just traditional music opportunities. We need to make sure they’re being exposed to songwriting, and that they’re being exposed to incredible musicianship,” said CMA Foundation Executive Director Tiffany Kerns.

Members of Old Dominion and Osborne will be at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in downtown St. Paul for the CMA Songwriters Series Wednesday night at 7 p.m. They will share the story behind a song and then perform it.

Kuether will also get a chance to perform on stage.

Jennifer Mayerle

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