Texas Music Project is about connecting people with music. Michael Clay, Co founder and Executive Director, helped launch TMP as a grassroots non-profit in 2003 to promote the benefits of music education to at-risk youth in Texas schools. It would not be what it is today without the many people, organizations, and partners that have worked alongside him over the years. Through their volunteer efforts, TMP, with its incredible team, has brought hope and healing to children through the power of music.

Learn more below about the people who make Texas Music Project what it is today.


Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is heavily focused on creating programming and opportunities for students to have music learning resources, help them develop their talent, and connect with industry professionals. Learn more about what we do.


Michael Clay, Executive Director and Co-Founder


Michael Clay is a professional musician and songwriter at heart who happens to have a day gig, MichaelClayProductions.com. As Co-Founder and Executive Director of Texas Music Project, Michael brings 30+ years of music production, publishing and performing chops to help the charity stay current and viable through technology and “old school” tricks of the trade.


Michael Hatley, Chairman of the Board


Michael spent the majority of his 35+ year career at The Richards Group as an advertising executive. As an encore to that, he spent the next seven years working at Family Legacy Missions as the Communications and Creative Executive dividing his time between Zambia and the states. He is currently retired. Michael describes himself as a passionate musician with a good ear and poor chops and has a love for serving kids.


Peyton Prince, Treasure/Secretary


Peyton is a native Texan, living in Austin, Texas with his wife, Cathy. After retiring from Whole Foods Market, Peyton focused on writing and producing songs. His love of music and arts started at a very early age and he is now a published songwriter with BMI. He has had the joy of co-producing a CD of original songs, the Peyton Prince Project. Peyton’s other interests include traveling and yoga.


Blurry Paige, Board Member


Blurry Paige’s journey with TMP began as she shared her love and music with students throughout our various programs. With the help of the George A. Robinson IV Foundation, she helped launch our effort to work with children of fallen soldiers and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Blurry Paige still finds time to stay active as a singer-songwriter, producer, and performer. With an arsenal of creative gifts, she packs a powerful punch with a big heart.


Billy Hale, Board Member


Billy Hale has experience with practically every job in the music business from guitar tech to band manager for some the biggest and smallest acts in the world. He started as a back line tech for Lone Wolf Management and was quickly promoted to live consultant for new acts. Billy hit the road with artists such as ZZ Top, Kid Rock and Jack White, making the circuit on more tours than he can count. In 2007 he returned home to Houston, where he continued to develop talent until he started managing The Contagious. His love for music has kept him in this game for almost 30 years and his focus has now shifted to keeping music alive in schools and educating less fortunate, aspiring musicians.


John Paul Batiste, Founding Member

John is the founder and CEO of AVOI, a full-service consulting firm specializing in creative leadership, civic arts advocacy and diversity consulting. Before founding AVOI, Batiste served as the Executive Director for the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) for 14 years. Batiste currently serves as President of The Young Art Institute in Education in Dallas. He is also an emeritus member of The Mid America Arts Alliance Board, advisory member of The African American Repertory Theater and a member of the St. Anthony’s Parish Council.

John Paul is the recipient of The Rosewood Award, presented in honor of those individuals, organizations and institutions whose extraordinary support to Dallas Children’s Theatre reflects their understanding of and appreciation for the role that the creative arts play in the lives of young people.


John Douglas, Board Member


John Douglas combines a love of art and music, two passions he has pursued his entire life. An accomplished drummer and artist, he has painted and customized drums and guitars for some of the biggest rock bands on the planet…Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses, and ZZ Top to name just a few.

While working and performing on tours with a variety of bands, John exercises his creativity by painting black and white portraits of rock & roll stars in his hotel room. A few claims to fame include when Joe Perry of Aerosmith used a Douglas painting for the cover of his solo album Have Guitar Will Travel. While working on the Bon Jovi tour in 2018 Douglas painted a portrait of Jon Bon Jovi who loved the painting so much he offered limited edition prints of it to his fans. John Douglas musical work, featured on drums, guitars, album covers and concert stages, has been seen by literally hundreds of thousands of music fans. And his rock & roll portraits on canvas are in private collections and on display in Hard Rock Cafes, Hotels and Casinos all over the world.


Honorary Chairmen


Willie Nelson


willie nelson honorary member

Mr. Nelson was appointed in 2003 to be the Honorary Chairman of TMP in our initiative to support music education in Texas schools. He helped TMP gain traction as an organization and catalyzed our efforts to bring together world famous artists to contribute to a series of four CD’s.

Learn more about the connection Willie Nelson has to Texas Music Project and his influence on Texas music.


Maren Morris


maren morris grammy

Texas Music Project is proud to have sent Marren Morris, a regular on the Billboard top charts, to Grammy songwriting class when she was 15 years old. She has since received multiple Grammy’s as a songwriter and industry accolades as a performer. Maren is a music education success story and we can’t wait to watch her continue to soar. We are grateful for her efforts as she helps TMP work to save the arts in Texas.

Learn more about Maren Morris‘ connection to Texas Music Project.



Our ambassadors are Texas-bred musicians who support the mission of music education in Texas. They also work with our events and talent in order to support their musical growth. Our list of ambassadors includes Sydney Harding-Sloan, The Peterson Brothers, Remy Reilly, Matt Tedder, and more.Learn more about our ambassadors.