The Mt. Juliet Christian Academy Fine Arts Booster Club will play host to local songwriters Darryl Worley and Friends for an Evening with the Arts, an annual fundraising event at Mt. Juliet Christian Academy. This year’s event, ‘An Evening with the Arts: Writers in the Round’ is scheduled for Feb. 24.
The community-wide event will include an evening of music with songs and stories from Worley and other well-known Nashville songwriters. The evening will begin at 7 p.m. with a silent auction. The show will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance at the school or online at mjca.org/fine-arts.
The Mt. Juliet Christian Fine Arts Booster Club is raising funds to replace outdated theatrical curtains and lighting needed to support the school’s fine arts students. Mt. Juliet Christian Academy has a thriving fine arts program that prepares students from prekindergarten through 12th grade in elementary music, band, choral, drama and visual arts.
“I am so excited to be a part of the songwriter guitar pull evening at MJCA,” Worley said. “My daughter attended there, and we just fell in love with that school and all the wonderful people. I was blessed to attend some of the recitals and programs that were put on by the fine arts department, and it is a pleasure to help raise money for this program. I saw the joy, excitement, enthusiasm and just raw talent in these amazing young people, and it moved me to tears every time I was able to be present for one of their shows. They were my favorite events, but these talents sometimes go unnoticed if we don’t pay special attention to see that they get funding, too. It is an honor and a complete joy to be involved in something so incredibly good.
“Please come out and support the fine arts and everything they do to make it possible for these talented young people to get the guidance and exposure that they need. We have put together a good group of talented singer-songwriters to provide some awesome entertainment for this special evening. Don’t miss out on this special event with the MJCA Fine Arts Department. This is something you don’t want to miss.”
During his career, Worley has scored nearly 20 hit singles and three chart-topping hits with the self-penned “Awful, Beautiful Life” and the poignant “Have You Forgotten,” which spent an astonishing seven weeks at No. 1, as well as “I Miss My Friend,” which came to him via a songwriter friends in Nashville. He also recognizes the importance of giving back every opportunity that he can through his annual charities that has funded organizations such as the Darryl Worley Cancer Treatment Center in Savannah.
“We’ve managed to do a lot by the grace of God over the past 15 years,” said Worley. “We’re having the biggest years of fundraising now just because we’ve learned how to do it. It’s just a very positive thing that we’ve been able to accomplish.”
Next up on the charitable future for the singer-songwriter is breaking ground on a wellness center geared toward assisting youth battling abuse of drugs and alcohol.
“It’s a labor intensive job, but it is a labor of love when you have a chance to really see how it affects human beings,” he said. “We’ve saved lives, and that’s what it’s all about.”
While he takes pride in making a difference in the lives of those around him, Worley also has spent much of his career giving back to the men and women overseas doing their job to keep his family and our country safe. Following the tragic events of Sept. 11, Worley penned the heartfelt “Have You Forgotten,” which became the biggest hit of his career. The song remains one of the most anticipated highlights in his live shows, especially when visiting the U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has become a yearly tradition for Worley.
“It is a very difficult thing that our people have been through overseas during the past several years,” Worley says, his eyes glazing over with tears. “They just never give in or give up. It’s amazing.”
With 2015 marking the 14-year anniversary of Sept. 11, Worley released a combo pack DVD-CD titled Music & Memories that documented his many trips overseas to entertain the men and women in uniform.
“We wanted to do something to be uplifting for our troops and really shine a positive light on what they do,” Worley said. “It does that in a big way. It is real and it is raw. There’s so much on that DVD that regular civilians would never see.
“There are some funny moments on there, as well. You will laugh your butt off, but you will also cry. The reality of what we have seen and experienced is heavy, so some of that will get to you because it is so real.”
Worley also has a handful of other musical projects in the works, including the upcoming release of a greatest hits album that will feature his three chart-topping hits, as well as tunes like “A Good Day to Run,” “Second Wind,” “Sounds Like Life to Me” and “I Just Came Back From a War.” Besides the hits, Worley also has plans to include a few never-before-heard songs that will segue into a new collection of music further down the road.
“I am just in a really good place in my life and my career,” Worley said. “I have been so blessed throughout my career. I have seen so much and experienced so much that I will never take for granted. I’m definitely not done yet. There is a lot more to come from me in the future. It feels good to start stirring it all up again. I’m ready to get back out there.”