Grammy winners join Hannibal students for concert

A pair of Grammy Award-winning artists teamed up with Dennis M. Kenney Middle School students for a once-in-a-lifetime concert Nov. 6.

Kate Lee and Forrest O’Connor, world-renowned bluegrass singers and songwriters with chart-topping hits, met with Hannibal student musicians for a personalized learning experience. The duo spoke to middle school students of the hard work and dedication required to achieve success and punctuated their visit with a combined performance of “Glimpse of Heaven.”

The song struck a chord with DMK music teacher Jeffrey Sawyer, who wrote it and helped facilitate the performance with the seventh and eighth-grade chorus.

“This is such a fantastic learning experience for our students,” Sawyer said. “They will remember this for the rest of their lives. Not many chorus students have an opportunity to perform alongside Grammy winners.”

The O’Connors have collaborated with artists such as Paul Simon and Zac Brown, and they have performed at the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium and Fenway Park. While they have a long resume of accomplishments, the pair noted that it’s important to stay grounded and continue to work hard.

“They are so humble and were able to reinforce the importance of practicing and working hard,” Sawyer said. “We’re so grateful to be able to provide this opportunity for our students.”