Deltona High School Alumna Earns Coveted Murrow Award for Documentary

Shawna Mann, an ambitious and accomplished 22-year-old college student, has proven that age is not a barrier when it comes to creating a remarkable documentary featuring prominent figures from the music and baseball worlds. Recently, Mann was part of a remarkable team that clinched the prestigious student Edward R. Murrow Award for their outstanding video feature reporting. The acclaimed documentary, titled “The Grand Ole Guitar,” delves into the captivating narrative behind the iconic guitar-shaped scoreboard located in a minor league baseball stadium situated in Nashville, Tennessee.

Hailing from Deltona and an alumna of Deltona High School, Mann expresses her immense joy during the pre-production phase, which required extensive research. While she admits that she was unfamiliar with numerous influential personalities from Nashville, such as Conway Twitty and other distinguished figures in the industry, the process of immersing herself in their stories made her feel intimately connected to the narrative she was crafting.

Initially, Mann had no knowledge of Conway Twitty or his legendary contributions to country music when she embarked on the project. However, her dedication to her craft prompted her to delve into the history and significance of this illustrious musician. Having earned a degree in Journalism and New Media, accompanied by a minor in Music from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Mann was thrilled to discover Twitty’s influence and the contributions of other luminaries who played pivotal roles in realizing the guitar-shaped scoreboard.

To Mann’s astonishment, she only became aware of the award a mere couple of weeks ago when she received a text message. Even more serendipitous was the timing of this delightful news—it arrived during a work Zoom call, causing her elation to intertwine with her professional responsibilities. Mann reminisces about the unforgettable moment, stating, “So it just started off as a normal day but ended up being a Murrow Award winner midday at work. So it was it was just a huge honor.”

Presently, Mann serves as the Communications Coordinator and Video Content Creator for the esteemed Frist Art Museum in Nashville—an opportunity that allows her to channel her creative energy into her work. Eager to understand how this exceptional young talent remains motivated and any advice she may have for other aspiring individuals who may feel overlooked, Mann advocates for self-belief and seizing every opportunity that presents itself. She elaborates, “There’s no limit to what you’re able to do. Say yes to small opportunities because it’s going to lead you to the next bigger one.”

While Mann’s success arrived early in her burgeoning career, she refuses to rest on her laurels, maintaining a voracious appetite for new projects. With an infectious enthusiasm, she expresses her desire to immerse herself further in the realm of documentary filmmaking, inspired by the recognition garnered from her Murrow Award triumph. Mann exclaims, “I just want to dive into the next story. I want to dive back more into documentary. I’m really grateful and blessed to be working with multimedia communications, but now getting this Murrow Award win, it’s kind of just lit a fire in me to just keep going and pushing more.”

When asked about the influential teachers who nurtured her dreams, Mann immediately recalls her former choir director, Ms. Amanda James, who recently departed from Deltona High School. James’s impact extended beyond fostering confidence in singing; she instilled within Mann a sense of self-assurance, courage, and the belief to embrace opportunities that life presents. Mann emphatically acknowledges her teacher’s invaluable role in shaping her current endeavors.

For those intrigued by “The Grand Ole Guitar” and eager to witness Mann’s storytelling prowess, the documentary is available for viewing by clicking here. As Shawna Mann’s journey unfolds, it is evident that she stands as a shining example of youthful talent and audacity that knows no bounds. The future awaits, brimming with possibilities, and Mann embarks on her next compelling project with an unwavering determination and an infectious smile.

This article was written by WKMG ClickOrlando and copyrighted in 2023. All rights reserved.

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