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State’s Entertainers of Year ready to ‘Stand Up’ Saturday

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News-Leader photo/JOHN R. SCHIRMER READY FOR STAND UP. Zac and Hannah Dunlap tell Nashville Rotarians about the Zac Dunlap Band, the featured entertainers at the Stand Up for America program July 6 at the Nashville City Park. The band has received a number of awards and performs throughout Arkansas and neighboring states.

By John R. Schirmer

News-Leader staff

From KATV’s “Good Morning, Arkansas” to the Downtown Crawfest in Arkadelphia, the Zac Dunlap band has performed across Arkansas and the mid-South. Saturday, July 6, the group will bring its mix of country and rock to the Nashville City Park for the 30th annual Stand Up for America celebration. 

Zac Dunlap and his wife Hannah discussed the band and their love of music Wednesday, June 26, at the Nashville Rotary Club’s meeting.

The band received four awards from the Arkansas Country Music Association in 2018, including Video of the Year, Song of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year and Entertainers of the Year. ZDB will be the headliner at the Arkansas State Fair Oct. 17.

Chamber of Commerce director Mike Reese showed the Dunlaps around Nashville before their Rotary appearance. For Zac, the tour brought back memories of his high school days at Bauxite. “I played football here. I was blown away by the facilities you have,” he said. He noted that Bauxite won the Class A state championship in 1996, the same year Nashville won what was then the AA state title.

“Nashville has a unique tradition,” he said.

“You guys have a fabulous town,” Zac told the Rotarians. “There are more available jobs than people to fill them. Our band gets to go to towns in Arkansas and other states. We’re blown away with this town’s support. There are a lot of towns who would love to have what you have. I even saw a dinosaur footprint for the first time” as Reese showed the Dunlaps around.

“Thank you for having us,” Hannah said. “It’s great to talk to people face to face.”
The Dunlaps have been married eight years and have two boys, ages 2 and 6. “They keep us busy,” she said.

Zac and Hannah moved to Nashville, Tenn., then back to Little Rock. “We knew what our driving force was – music. We love kids; we love music.”

As a result, they decided to start a music studio and teach guitar, drums, ukulele, bass and other 

instruments. “It’s all performance based. We play shows. Kids go on tour. Some of our more elite students go with us,” Hannah said.

The Dunlaps are in the studio Monday through Thursday and play at numerous venues on weekends. They performed at a firemen’s convention in Hot Springs last Saturday night.

“We’re from small-town Arkansas,” Zac said. “I was born in East End” and went to high school in Bauxite. “Hannah is from Redfield.”

They’ve combined their small-town upbringing with their love for music and love for kids in the studio and in their performing.

“We like to see youth have opportunities, not just in music but to be to productive citizens,” Zac said.

“We’re fans of the Rotary Club. We saw the kids at RYLA [Rotary Youth Leadership Awards] camp in April. There were lots of talented kids there. We shared our story. We told them they can be successful in anything they want to do. You have a really good school system here. We try to help kids be what they want to be,” Zac said.

About 150 students are in the Dunlaps’ music program, Hannah said. “We try to teach them commitment and work ethic. We show them commitment and enthusiasm. We like teaching life staples.”

For Zac, “Being happy in life is a mindset. We try to spread that.”

The Dunlaps wrapped up the Rotary program with a performance of “Arkansas Is Mine,” the Song of the Year for 2018 as voted on by the Arkansas Country Music Association.

The 30th Stand Up for America celebration will be held Saturday, July 6, at the Nashville City Park. Children 12 and younger are admitted free; adults and 13 and up are $10; and veterans will be admitted for $5.

Gates will open at 5 p.m. with some events to appeal to youngsters, including Pinewood Derby races, a cornhole toss, dunking booth and bounce houses.

The musical attraction this year will be the Zac Dunlap Band (see related story) which plays a wide array of music and includes a horn section. 

The patriotic show will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the band will begin playing at 7:30. At approximately 9:30 the annual deluxe aerial fireworks will close the show.