Summit Valley School band students cheered when band director, Shari Weeks, surprised them with new band instruments this school year, thanks to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. Christmas in September. In fact, last Christmas one student, Jack, put a baritone horn on his Christmas list. Now Jack is enjoying playing a new shiny horn.
With many music programs across the country losing vital funding, the foundation helps under-served schools that do not have adequate funds to purchase or repair their instruments.
An application for support was submitted by Summit Valley School and the foundation found their program to be a worthwhile investment. Now more students are able to play and experience the benefits of music education.
“For a small rural school such as Summit Valley, the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation Grant is a windfall of opportunity for our students!” stated Mr. Glidewell, superintendent. “This grant give us the ability to provide a quality music program and equips our students with the skills to excel at the high school level and beyond. Our school, students, and community appreciate the generous donation.”
“Learning music in school is a way to engage kids and give them something that makes them better students and better people,” said Felice Mancini, executive director of The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. “They deserve every tool available to help them receive a quality education, and we want to insure that music is in that toolbox.”
Summit Valley School is located between Addy and Gifford, Washington in a rural area of Stevens County. The Columbia River is just 15 miles over the Addy-Gifford Summit. The small district houses one school educating 70 students in grades Preschool through 8th grade. The classrooms are multi-grade levels incorporating the diverse talents of an incredible staff. Band is offered to students in grades 5-8. Summit Valley School has the pleasure of educating the most amazing students.
The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation donates new and refurbished musical instruments to under-served schools, community music programs, and individual students nationwide, in an effort to give youngsters the many benefits of music education, help them to become better students, and inspire creativity and expression through playing music. The organization was inspired by the 1995 motion picture Mr. Holland’s Opus and founded by Michael Kamen, who composed the music for the movie and countless others. In the last 16 years, over 15,000 new and refurbished instruments have been donated to 1,273 school and community music programs across the country. More information can be found at www.mhopus.org.
In This Photo: The Summit Valley School band class practices their instruments.