via press release:
GREAT AMERICAN COUNTRY COMBINES MUSIC, DANCE AND LIFESTYLE TV IN NEW SERIES WITH TALENTED, UNCONVENTIONAL, 14-MEMBER FAMILY: THE WILLIS CLAN
New Series Launches Thursday, June 27 @ 8pm ET/7 pm CT on Great American Country
NASHVILLE, TN (For Immediate Release) – Meet THE WILLIS CLAN, a family like no other. This multi-talented brood makes big-family life look like an extreme sport! The Willis Clan is about quality, not just quantity. With lots of love, homeschooling and hard work, parents Brenda and Toby Willis are raising 12 kids to be the best. Watch this mesmerizing Irish-American family and their unconventional rural Tennessee lifestyle—how they live, love, work, sing, dance, play, and pursue their dreams--in the new series, THE WILLIS CLAN, launching Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 8pm ET/7 pm CT, on Great American Country.
Ranging from ages 2 to 21 years old, the children are beautiful, motivated, creative, athletic, exceptional. There’s no instrument they can’t play, no dance style they can’t conquer. They are in a family band managed by music industry legend Doc McGhee, are national dance champions and state champion athletes. Where do they get the drive to strive?
“Our viewers will connect with The Willis Clan and share their passion for music and what is most important in life: strong family bonds, hard work, love of outdoors, and living simply,” says Sarah Trahern, general manager, Great American Country. “Each week, this unique family will entertain and inspire with their amazing talent, energy, enthusiasm and tireless can-do spirit.”
The 14 members of The Willis Clan are parents Toby and Brenda and their 12 children: Jessica (21), Jeremiah (20), Jennifer (18), Jeanette (17), Jackson (15), Jedi (13), Jasmine (11), Juliette (10), Jamie (8), Joy Anna (6), Jaeger (3), and Jada (2). For family bios, photo galleries and video clips, visit http://GACTV.com/willisclan.
Toby and Brenda Willis homeschool their 12 children and are uncompromisingly raising them all to become world-class musicians, dancers, athletes, and, most of all, good people and successful adults.
From the adult children to the toddlers, every child from an early age on is self-reliant and determined to be the best. Members of The Willis Clan are world champion Irish folk dancers and national swing dance champions and hold 12 state wrestling titles combined. The seven oldest siblings are multi-instrumentalists, singers and songwriters who play together in a professional touring band called “The Willis Clan.” Highly accomplished in Celtic/world, country, bluegrass, and pop music, they have opened for major artists such as Brad Paisley and The Band Perry, and recently signed with McGhee Entertainment, management for many notable artists, including Clint Black, Darius Rucker, and super group Kiss.
The oldest kids now take on a big part of the job mentoring and educating the youngest children. All of the kids also participate in daily workouts, dance practice, and rehearsals for the family band. The girls practice Judo and self-defense, taught by Toby, and the wrestlers -- Jedi and Jackson -- train with and wrestle with their father. The entire family sometimes works 16 hours a day perfecting all their skills. All this, while accomplishing their daily household chores, makes it a struggle to find balance and accomplish everything that needs to get done.
In the series launch, tensions mount as the Willis Clan prepares for an important showcase for Nashville's biggest music executives. Oldest kids Jessica and Jeremiah disagree over the set list, equipment problems and a flat tire plague the band, and Jennifer’s broken retainer nearly causes her to miss the gig.
In more episodes this season, viewers will see the Willis Clan as they rise to many occasions and meet several challenges. The kids are faced with choosing priorities when important wrestling tournaments conflict with band dates, Toby takes them on a university tour to expose them to the differences between undergraduate life versus home schooling, they are under pressure to produce their own high-budget Hollywood-style music video to present to Nashville music executives, and are constantly rehearsing, playing gigs, writing new songs and working hard with hopes of being signed to a major record deal.
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About Great American Country (GAC)
Great American Country is the leader in country lifestyle entertainment, and delivers to viewers original lifestyle programming, music performance specials, live concerts and country music videos. GAC is available in more than 62 million households and online at http://www.GACTV.com.
GAC is owned by Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), the leading developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television and the Internet, including HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel.