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Belmont takes the Grammys: Dwan Hill and student volunteers talk victory and the music industry

Music’s biggest night featured star-studded performances and glamorous outfits and Belmont made a cameo on the Grammy red carpet with student volunteers and two Grammy victories.

Belmont adjunct songwriting professor Dwan Hill secured two more Grammys with wins in Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song “Believe For It” and Best Gospel Album with Cece Winans.

“The moment becomes real, and you realize you’re sitting in a life-changing moment,” Hill said about his win.

Hill has been working with Winans for about 18 years and this is his third Grammy win with her, winning Best Gospel Performance/Song as a co-writer for “Never Have To Be Alone” in 2018.

“It has been an honor to work with one of the greatest gospel artists of our time, and I will always cherish the opportunity I had to contribute to her music and career,” he said.

Hill, a 2008 Belmont graduate, said that although Grammy season often sneaks up on him, going to the show is always a memorable and extraordinary experience.

“When I found out, it was probably the first time I fully considered the possibility of winning,” he said. “This year, it was fun to celebrate my friends who were also nominated and go to the show a second time.”

Hill said he hopes his success will encourage more people to dive into their faith and give him more opportunities to write new music.

“When I write or release songs, my prayer is that they would bless God, bless people and bless my family,” he said. “It's always nice to have your peers, family and friends celebrate your work and these Grammy’s represent what happens when a team comes together for a common goal of inspiration.”

Belmont Service Corp. sent 10 members to Las Vegas to the main event red carpet.

Students were talent escorts on the carpet, walking alongside big names such as Kings of Leon, Jack Harlow and Mickey Guyton.

“It was anyone you could think of,” said Caroline Cole, senior CEI and marketing major. “It’s interesting to be steps away from Justin Bieber.”

Hand-selected based on experience, involvement in the Belmont community and experience with internships, these students jumped at an opportunity that junior music business major Charlotte Starr called “incredible.”

“You’re given this incredible glimpse into the behind-the-scenes of the industry and seeing the dynamic, and that was something so beneficial to me,” she said.

With the biggest names in music standing only a few feet away, the students’ inner fan had to be kept at bay.

“The goal of Service Corp is to serve and give that assistance to these events,” said Gus Ciardiello, senior songwriting and CEI major. “It’s hard to find these volunteers who are willing to do it for free, willing to fly out and not going to fangirl over these people.”

Whether taking home the gold or working alongside the artists, Belmont student volunteers and Hill shared the excitement and joy of the evening. “It was amazing seeing all of these people who are so passionate about what they do,” said Starr. “It was a really humbling experience because I have so much to learn and so much to do to prepare for a career in this industry but it was also just so exciting.”

From the glitz and glam of the red carpet to the hustle and bustle of backstage, these Belmont representatives cherish each moment spent during their weekend in Vegas at the Grammys.

“Even though it is crazy to be with all of these people, it’s more of an ‘I made it’ moment as opposed to an ‘oh my gosh, I can’t believe so and so is in front of me’ moment,” said Cole.

PHOTO: From right to left: Belmont Service Corp members Hunter Cross, Gus Ciardiello, Katy Gaspar, Emily Carthum, Caroline Cole, Haiden Hill, Libby Trbovic, Alex Cheatham, Emma Singleton and Charlotte Starr on the Grammys red carpet. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Starr.

This article was written by Lilly Owens.

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