Music City Director shares his love of music with Nashville youth

As a former band director and member of the U.S. Air Force band, the new executive director of the Music City Drum Corps has seen first-hand how music can transform lives. So it’s no surprise why Kent Baker was drawn to Nashville’s W.O. Smith Music School.

“The W.O. Smith School of Music is one of the finest examples of educational services provided to Nashville’s underserved student population,” Baker said. “The school is investing in the future of Nashville, its culture and its values.”

The nonprofit school makes affordable, quality music instruction available to children from low-income families. Founded in 1984, the school provides kids aged 7-18 instruments, classes and private lessons taught by community volunteers.

“Teachers donate their expertise and time, so it’s truly a labor of love,” Baker said. “The students are eager, motivated and engaged with the faculty. I wonder who benefits more from this relationship, the students or the teachers.”

Baker connected with the school within his first month of moving to Nashville from the Washington, D.C. area as a natural relationship for both he and Music City.

“I would like to see a future partnership where Music City performs for the students at W.O. Smith and engages with the administration to foster music education in Nashville,” he said.

The W.O. Smith School relies on charitable contributions to cover its administrative and operational expenses. You may make your tax-deducible donation at