Jordan Kitts and NAMM in Washington, D.C. – Day 3


Chris Syllaba with former Secretary of Education, Richard Riley (left) and Savoy Players on stilts (right).

Wednesday was the primary day for the 130 Congressional meetings on Capitol Hill that were scheduled by the NAMM Delegates. There was also a morning Congressional Briefing by Dr. Nina Kraus, PhD, Professor and Researcher at Northwestern University, for House and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Caucus Staff at the Capitol. She presented findings in her latest music/brain research investigating the neural encoding of speech and music and the brain’s ability to change as a result of experience and learning new things.

This was followed by a press conference on the benefits and importance of music and the arts in education led by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Co-chair, Congressional STEAM Caucus. Also commenting were Richard Riley, Joe Lamond, and Chad Smith. Present were Larry Morton, NAMM Chairman, Bernie Williams, NAMM Delegates and others on the House Triangle.

Additionally, NAMM Leadership held meetings throughout the day with key Members of Congress, including with Speaker of the House John Boehner.

The evening concluded at the offices of Nelson Mullins with their annual roof-top party attended by over 500 guests, including government officials, clients and Nelson Mullins leadership and associates.


Press Conference on the House Triangle. From L-R Larry Morton, NAMM Chairman; Kent Knappsberger; Bernie Williams; Dr. Nina Kraus; Actor Doc Shaw; Chad Smith; Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici; former Secretary of Education Richard Riley; and Joe Lamond, President and CEO, NAMM.

The Fly-In concluded on Thursday morning with an 11am SupportMusic Coalition conference call from the Nelson Mullins offices. Several hundred individuals joined in on the call lead by a panel of NAMM Delegates reviewing and commenting on this year’s Fly-In. The SupportMusic Coalition is a public service initiative and advocacy effort that now unites over 8,000 national, regional and international organizations comprised of parents and community leaders seeking to improve access and opportunity in music and arts learning.

This was an exciting series of events and experiences and is a vital part of keeping music in our schools. I, along with my fellow NAMM Delegates, look forward to participating again next year!


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