MTE and TVA support local teacher’s effort to heal a community.
For Immediate Release – December 8, 2020
While 2020 has been a challenge across the globe, Middle Tennessee took an extra hit in March when powerful tornadoes ripped through the area displacing hundreds of residents and devastating homes and businesses.
Yet, eight months later, a positive outcome emerges as Mt. Juliet’s Green Hill High School AV Production Teacher DeAna Duncan created a project to turn a family’s piano into a source for healing. “We learned to count our blessings,” said Duncan, former visual arts teacher at Wilson Central High School in Lebanon. “When I was contacted by a family of a former student after the March storms, I knew I had to help. They wanted to see if I could help them heal by figuring out a way to use their beloved piano that had somewhat survived the tornado, essentially the only thing left of their home and belongings.”
Duncan reached out to Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE) and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for funding - each organization agreed to contribute $2,500 for a total of $5,000 to support this effort. Duncan explained that these funds will be used to restore the piano, not to its original form, but into a structure that contains the cumulative stories and memories of those affected by the tornadoes. The interior of the piano will be removed and replaced with a STEM student designed audio/video system that will play prerecorded audio and video. Duncan’s AV classes will record and edit performances for the system. Art students from across the Wilson County school system will design a new exterior for the piano with images reflecting their feelings about the storm and the recovery.
Duncan says she envisions community performances and celebrations once completed, which is expected to be in March 2021, near the anniversary of the tornado event. “This project can be completed safely with distancing but also provide something students and teachers alike can look forward to seeing come together,” said Duncan, who also plans for future performances to be used as fundraisers for STEAM projects in the county.
Duncan has titled this project “And the Song Played On.” “We are honored to be asked to support this STEAM project,” said MTE CEO Chris Jones. “It’s such a positive effort that brings healing to the community amidst devastating times. It goes right to one of our core principles – concern for community – and we are glad to be able to help.”
“Creativity and innovation are key components in the partnership TVA has with our local power companies and the educators they serve,” said Jeannette Mills, TVA executive vice president and chief external relations officer. “Teachers across the Valley are discovering and implementing new ways to keep their students engaged and spark a love of STEM subjects. We are honored to be a part of the process.”
About Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE) Founded in 1936, MTE is the largest electric cooperative in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region and the second largest in the United States, serving more than 600,000 Tennesseans via 308,000+ accounts covering nearly 2,200 square miles in 11 Middle Tennessee counties, primarily Rutherford, Cannon, Williamson and Wilson. Municipalities served include Murfreesboro, Franklin, Brentwood, Smyrna, Lavergne, Lebanon and Mt. Juliet. MTE employs 510 people in 7 local offices and its Murfreesboro corporate headquarters.
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About Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE)
Founded in 1936, MTE is the largest electric cooperative in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region and the second largest in the United States, serving more than 750,000 Tennesseans via 320,000+ accounts covering nearly 2,200 square miles in 11 Middle Tennessee counties, primarily Rutherford, Cannon, Williamson and Wilson. Municipalities served include Murfreesboro, Franklin, Brentwood, Smyrna, La Vergne, Lebanon and Mt. Juliet. MTE employs 520 people in seven local offices and its Murfreesboro corporate headquarters.
MTE’s subsidiary, United Communications, is a nationally recognized broadband company with a fiber network spanning more than 1,200 route miles providing high-speed internet and other services to portions of Williamson, Rutherford, Marshall, Bedford, Franklin and Davidson counties.
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