Barry Manilow not only writes the songs, he makes sure kids can too.
The singer-songwriter visited tornado ravaged Joplin, Missouri, Thursday and donated $300,000 in musical instruments to the town's schools through his non-profit Manilow Music Project. “I know firsthand how invaluable music can be to get you through life’s tough times," Manilow said in a statement. "It is an honor and a privilege to help these kids after such a disaster."
Signs like "Barry is our Man-ilow" and "Joplin has hope cause of Barry" ringed the Eagles football field for the presentation. Students, teachers and townspeople gathered to watch three truckloads of instruments arrive which included pianos, brass and string instruments. The donations will benefit not just the high school band, but also the pep club, the middle school, the choir and the orchestra according to Rick Castor, music director for Joplin High School.
The town is still feeling the effects of the tornado, which struck in May cutting a 13 mile path of destruction through the southwest Missouri city of 50,000 and killed at least 159 people. The National Weather Service calls it the single most deadly tornado to hit the U.S. in 60 years. More than half the students at Joplin High School were affected – losing loved ones, homes, and possessions.
Joplin High School's music library, the second oldest and one of the largest in the state and worth over $800,00, was destroyed. In addition to the $300,000 in instruments, Manilow's Music Project teamed up with local business Fitterling Dentistry to accept donations of gently used instruments and money to help rebuild the sheet music library. The drive netted $8320.oo.
Manilow points to his own school music programs as being crucial to his growth as a musician. He established the MMP in 2008 ( www.ManilowMusicProject.org ) to bolster arts programs nationwide that have suffered due to budget cutbacks. Joplin is just one of many towns his non-profit has helped, but to the man who writes the songs, this felt personal, "It feels like family, I feel like I know everyone and I've never even been here," Manilow said.
I appreciate Barry Manilow for donation of musical instruments to the Town's schools through his non-profit Manilow Music Project. Town's schools peopel and many other take advantage of these donating instruments.
I think Barry could have done more than donate instruments truth be told. and 300k is like a drop in the bucket when you look at the situation. Why not hold about 15 concerts? Get his britches dirty with actually doing something... But.... on the other hand, he could have just looked the other way. He could have donated a few of his own pianos for auction too.... That would have brought more than the 300k, don't ya think?
In these days of schools cutting funding for school programs I applaude Mr. Barry Manilow's gift and knowing the value of music programs in schools. @upstateny I totally agree with you.
@starrfire I thought you was dead they said you wheeled your self into The Grand Canyon.
I HATE, HATE the society we live in. Here's a guy that gave of himself to help others and yet people still have to find something to criticize this man. You don't have to like him or his music but a decent respectful person would have said nothing at or or would have recognized a good deed and compliment him and be thankful that he did something he didn't have to do, but he did and it came from his heart.
He's g@y as hell, but that was nice of him.
Barry is the MAN! Thank you, Barry!
CELEBUR.COM is a virus! Dont go there!
Wooooo it is chilly here today. Is it cool where you are? I think it is chilly with beans. Anyone want to blow of my driveway? ILL give ya 10 smackeroonies.
Yeah, it was nice of him but the tornado happened in May. What took him so long?
Yea i totally agree. Check out his interview at CELEBUR.COM i think the video is still up.
He has never come out as Gay and who frankly cares but the man cares about people and music saved him I am sure so why not let music help somebody else..I don't think there is any hidden agenda...just a good guy
You know what I think Barry comes from the heart,,
This is very nice of Barry Manilow, but it's, of course, great publicity for him too! No 1 does anything for "free,"even benevolent acts have a price attatched!!
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