MUSIC RISING HELPS RESTORE DEVASTATED MUSIC PROGRAMS

MUSIC RISING HELPS RESTORE DEVASTATED MUSIC PROGRAMS IN FLOOD DAMAGED WEST VIRGINIA SCHOOLS PARTNERING WITH THE MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS FOUNDATION

Richwood High School and Richwood Middle School in Nicholas County, West Virginia to Benefit from Donation

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Charleston, West Virginia – (August 9, 2016) – Music Rising, the organization founded in 2005 after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina which has since gone on to become the music industry’s disaster relief fund, announced its generous support of $108,000 worth of instruments to help restore the music programs at schools that were destroyed by the recent floods in West Virginia. The support will help rebuild the music programs at Richwood High School and Richwood Middle School in Nicholas County, West Virginia. These schools lost everything in the floods that devastated the area on June 23 and 24, 2016. Music Rising partnered with the West Virginia Division of Culture and History to provide assistance. The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which administers Music Rising, was contacted as one of the national organizations the commission had originally reached out to for help. The foundation immediately partnered with Music Rising and received a very positive response from the organization.

“This is another remarkable milestone for Music Rising,” said U2’s the Edge, co-founder of Music Rising. “We hope that through our support we are able to foster future generations of students who will have the chance to experience the remarkable benefits which come from a vibrant music education program within their school. Keeping instruments in the hands of our youth plays a pivotal role in their futures on many levels.”

“West Virginia public schools have strong music programs, supported by certified music teachers and school administrations who understand the value of arts education in schools” said Randall Reid-Smith, West Virginia Division of Culture and History commissioner. “As soon as I heard about the damage, I began hearing from music teachers and band directors who knew, even without seeing their schools, that the loss of music instruments was serious.”

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“Our hearts are with West Virginia in the wake of the recent flooding. We want everyone there to know that we plan on working together with the schools and the teachers in the effort to restore instruments that have been lost,” said Bob Ezrin, legendary music producer and co-founder of Music Rising.

Music Rising has worked closely with The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation which is the administrative arm of the organization, in reaching out to the schools to offer assistance. Music Rising’s support will replace all of the instruments the schools lost in the floods.

Music Rising recognizes that music education is vital to giving students a creative outlet to express themselves. The organization’s continued commitment to the arts and its support in areas of the country which have experienced a disaster plays a pivotal role in helping students cope with the tragedy.

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The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation keeps music alive in schools by donating musical instruments to under-funded music programs, giving youngsters the many benefits of music education including inspiring creativity and expression through music.

ABOUT MUSIC RISING
Music Rising is an award-winning organization that was launched in 2005 to restore the musical culture of the Central Gulf region of the United States after the destruction caused by the catastrophic hurricanes Katrina and Rita by replacing the musical instruments lost or destroyed in the deluge. Co-Founded by U2’s the Edge and legendary producer Bob Ezrin along with a host of music industry partners including MusiCares, Musician’s Friend, Gibson Foundation and Guitar Center Music Foundation, the organization has gone on to aid thousands of musicians, students and choir members. Since 2005, Music Rising has launched four phases of their campaign. Phase I helped musicians who lost everything in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the funds to establish their livelihood again. Phase II was dedicated to helping churches and schools rebuild their music programs. Music Rising then launched Phase III by awarding a million dollar grant towards Tulane University’s The New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University (NOCGS). The NOCGS explores the region’s intersections with Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean through research, community engagement and a new curriculum. The music rising curriculum, Music Rising at Tulane is now available to professors and educators around the world through an innovative new website provided exclusively through this program. Phase IV marked Music Rising’s commitment to other areas across the country where the musical community was affected by a natural disaster. Music Rising provided $250,000 in aid to musicians and students that were greatly affected by the floods in Nashville, Tennessee in 2010. Later in 2012and also supported students and music education by reaching out schools which were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Music Rising has now established itself as an organization dedicated to disaster relief providing assistance to rebuild music programs in schools post natural and economic disasters. Music Rising is administered by The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA DIVISION OF CULTURE AND HISTORY
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History brings together West Virginia’s past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. The agency manages the programs, activities and events at The Culture Center with the State Archives and State Museum, West Virginia Independence Hall, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, Camp Washington-Carver and Museum in the Park. For the past several years, it has been growing its youth and education programs which include the West Virginia Dance Festival, West Virginia History Bowl, Poetry Out Loud, First Lady’s Festival of Songs and the Science, Engineering and Art Fair. The State Museum features innovative education programs for pre-K through high school tours. In partnership with VH1 Save The Music Foundation, the agency is working to bring musical instruments to all qualified public middle schools in the state and celebrates the rich traditions of school bands with its annual West Virginia State Marching Band Festival.

ABOUT THE MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS FOUNDATION
The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation keeps music alive in schools by donating musical instruments to under-funded music programs, giving economically-disadvantaged youth access to the many benefits of music education, helping them to be successful students and inspiring creativity and expression through playing music. Nationally, 1,412 instrument grants have benefited thousands of young people.

Photos are representative of destruction after disaster throughout the county and not of a specific school mentioned.

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