Ahead of Barry Manilow’s Bridgestone Arena performance this weekend, he is taking time to recognize a local music teacher.

Nolensville High School Director of Bands Benjamin Easley won the Manilow Music Project Music Teacher Award. With it, he will recieve $5,000 cash and another $5,000 in “Manilow Bucks” to support the school band.

Easley said the money will go toward getting some new instruments for his students.

“I just think it’s really neat that his career has not just been a selfishly motivated, inwardly focused thing. That it’s actually going to affect generations because of the way they choose to support music specifically in the public schools,” said Easley.

Easley said he is so grateful to both Manilow and the support from the Nolensville community.

Manilow has been awarding music teachers across the country in different cities as he goes on tour. Easley won it for the Nashville area. He has been with the school since it opened in 2016 and was able to build the band from scratch, going from only 23 members to about 160 over the last seven years.

He said he grew up listening to Manilow with his parents.

“I grew up with music educator parents. My dad was my band director and my mom was a concert pianist. I grew up on that whole era of Barry Manilow and the Dewey Brothers, Earth Wind and Fire, and James Taylor. There’s dusty old VHS’s somewhere at 5 years old belting out is stuff,” said Manilow.

Now he and some of his family are excited to meet Manilow backstage at his show on Friday night.

The Manilow Music Project has given out more than $10 million worth to music programs in schools across the country. NOLESNVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) —