Kelly Miller Elementary to expand band and music offerings with instrument donation

From the Herald-Independent

Kelly Miller Elementary bandWINNSBORO – Kelly Miller Elementary School will soon receive several musical instruments, thanks to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which helps under-served schools that don’t have adequate funds to buy or repair instruments.

An application for support was submitted by Kelly Miller Elementary School and the foundation found its program to be a worthwhile investment.

“I am extremely grateful for the generous contribution from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. At Kelly Miller Elementary, we believe that the arts will contribute significantly to our children’s intellectual and social development,” Principal Kathy Woodard said.

Woodard thanked band teacher Vernon Huggins for taking the initiative to apply for the funds, Superintendent J. R. Green for his support and District Arts Coordinator Julianne Neal.

“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, president and CEO 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.”

The Kelly Miller band program began in August 2011 with 33 students in fifth and sixth grades combined. Over the course of the next three years, the band program took a progressive, fast-paced track to exhibit student talent and offers students more opportunities and experiences in instrumental music.

Along with grant funding from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, the band program has received donations through Donor’s Choose and through a grant from the S.C. Arts Commission and the Arts in the Basic Curriculum (ABC) project which serves the entire school for arts integration and arts classes.

During the 2015-2016 school year, the band program will provide opportunities for approximately 150 students by offering classes in World Music, Percussion Ensemble, 3 Concert Bands, Marching Band, and Jazz Band.

The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation donates new and refurbished musical instruments to underserved schools in an effort to give youngsters the many benefits of music education, help them to be 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 19 years, more than 18,000 new and refurbished instruments have been donated to more than 1,311 schools across the country.

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