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Kansas City teens part of Grammy Museum Music Revolution class

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Every year the Grammys stand out from all other awards shows. A memorable performance can make careers skyrocket and musicians who never share the stage turn in amazing collaborations.

Sunday night's audience will include two dozen young musicians from the Midwest who've spent the last year learning from Grammy's best.

"I didn't really know what to say," Music Revolution student Mariah Studebaker said.

In the week leading up to the Grammys, Studebaker, 17, got final details about her big trip to the awards in Los Angeles.

"There still aren't any words. It has to sink in and probably won't until I'm really there," she said.

Studebaker and 23 other Kansas City area teenagers said they still can't believe they were selected to be the first ever Grammy Museum Music Revolution class. It's a one-of-a-kind program led by industry big names like Bob Santelli.

"We bring in Grammy artists from all over the country to work with them. In four weeks, it's very, very intense training. They come together and none of these kids know each other and by the end of it, they're best friends and they've formed bands," said Santelli, the executive director of the Grammy Museum, L.A..

Santelli is one of the creative minds behind the Grammy Awards show. He teamed up with AEG, which is a sports and entertainment company, and the Sprint Center to bring a bit of the dream to the Midwest.

"One of the reasons why we came to Kansas City was because we wanted to get out of the glitz and glamour of L.A.," he said. "L.A. is the city of dreams. People come there all the time to fulfill their dreams. We wanted to go to the place where those dreams are beginning to be hatched."

But to see those dreamers in person proved more profound than even top music executives had planned.

Talent like Studebaker's inspired AEG and Sprint Center to pull strings and pray for trips for 24 students to a stage most of them had only seen on television inside their home.

"To have these big dreams, to think on such a large scale, sometimes seems a little out of reach," Studebaker said. "The program has really helped me to take ownership of my music spectrum and realize I'm not limited to where I came from."

"The best thing about it is that you get to see the Grammy Awards from the inside out and that's always a very special thing," Santelli said.

And participating in Music Revolution means the young woman doesn't have to dream alone.

"My dream in particular is that eight or nine years from now, is to see one of these kids on stage at the Grammy Awards show and saying, ‘thank you for this award. I got my start at the Music Revolution in Kansas City,'" Santelli said.

Not every future Music Revolution class will get to go to the Grammys. The decision was and always will be a surprise.

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