WQXR’s First Ever Instrument Drive to Collect Donations of Musical Instruments for NYC Music Programs

WQXR’s First Ever Instrument Drive to Collect Donations of Musical Instruments

for NYC Music Programs

 Drive to Run FRIDAY, MARCH 28 – MONDAY, APRIL 7 at

Drop-Off Locations in NYC, Northern NJ and Westchester

 NYC Department of Education, Sam Ash Music Stores, and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation
Partner with WQXR to Enhance Music Education in New York

(March 3, 2014 – New York, NY) -- WQXR, New York’s only classical station, announced today the first-ever WQXR INSTRUMENT DRIVE.  Held in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, Sam Ash Music Stores, and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, the initiative will invite people throughout the New York City metro region to donate their gently used musical instruments, for distribution to music programs at Title I New York City public schools and community music programs. 

 The WQXR INSTRUMENT DRIVE will take place from March 28 – April 7 and aims to collect at least 1,000 instruments.

  Donors will be able to bring their instruments to drop-off locations in all five NYC boroughs, Westchester, Long Island and Northern New Jersey.  Once the instruments are collected, Sam Ash Music Stores will assess and refurbish them before they are distributed.  Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which was established in 1996 to support school music programs that are not able to afford instruments due to a lack of funding, will match the donated instruments to qualifying school music programs.

 Additional instrument drop-off locations include Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, Bronx Museum, Brooklyn Music School, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the 92nd Street Y.

 “Learning to play a musical instrument shapes one’s life in a multitude of ways, but too many young people in New York who want to play music cannot do so, simply because they lack access to instruments,” said Graham Parker, General Manager of WQXR.  "At WQXR we celebrate the power of music every day. We're launching this drive to harness the passion of WQXR listeners and people all around the region to collect instruments and pass this experience and knowledge onto the next generation. We are thrilled to partner with the Department of   Education, Sam Ash Music Stores, and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to give more New York City students the opportunity to reach their musical potential, and to have all the benefits that come from that experience.”

 “Music instruction is a key element of a well-rounded education and helps our young people develop important skills like creative thinking, self-expression, and analytical expertise,” said Paul King, Executive Director of the Office of Arts at the NYC Department of Education. “We’re excited to work with WQXR on this innovative project to bring instruments to those students who want to play them most and to support our excellent music educators.”

 “Sam Ash has been a part of the New York music scene for over 90 years during which we have been an ardent supporter of music education,” said David Ash, Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel.  “We are proud to join WQXR, the Department of Education, and the Mr. Holland’s Opus foundation in sharing the joy of making music with children who would otherwise miss the opportunity.”

 “Having worked with New York City schools for many years, we’re very aware of the overwhelming need for instruments so that all students can learn to play,” said Felice Mancini, President and CEO, Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. “We applaud WQXR for their enthusiastic efforts to generate community support to keep music alive for more kids and more schools through this instrument drive. We can’t wait to work with WQXR to put the instruments into eager hands!"

 Music education has been shown to have a broad and significant positive impact on students’ social and academic development. The national average dropout rate is 30% for schools without music programs and 10% in schools with music programs.  Young children who received a year of musical training show brain changes and superior memory compared to children who did not receive training. Studies by the US Department of Education show that students who report consistently high levels of involvement in instrumental music during the middle- and high-school years show significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12. Students who participate in school band or orchestra have the lowest levels of current and lifelong use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs among any group in our society.  And there is a high relationship between interest in school music and high self-perception, high cognitive competence scores, and general self-esteem.

  More information on the WQXR Instrument Drive, including the locations of drop-off sites, can be found at www.WQXR.org/kids.

  The WQXR Instrument Drive is generously supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.  Additional support has been provided by a gift in memory of Dick H. Lewent, the Tiger Baron Foundation and an anonymous donor.

 About WQXR

WQXR 105.9 FM, which streams live at www.wqxr.org, is New York City’s only all-classical music station, immersing listeners in the city’s rich musical life. WQXR presents new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Opera, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the New York Philharmonic, among other venues. WQXR also broadcasts essential destination programs including the Metropolitan Opera Radio Saturday Matinee Broadcasts, New York Philharmonic This Week, and the McGraw-Hill Companies Young Artists Showcase. For listeners in search of the new, WQXR operates Q2 Music, an online music stream dedicated to contemporary classical composers, cross-genre adventures, and performances from New York City's edgier venues. Operavore is WQXR’s opera site featuring news, interviews, and commentaries from the world of opera, as well as a 24/7 all-opera stream. WQXR.org provides essential playlist information and online listening, as well as original content, host blogs, NYC cultural news, videos, and a free app which allows listeners to take WQXR with them wherever they go.

 About Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation

The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, www.mhopus.org was inspired by the acclaimed motion picture Mr. Holland’s Opus, the story of the profound effect a dedicated music teacher had on generations of students. The film's composer, Michael Kamen, started the foundation in 1996 as his commitment to the future of music education. The foundation donates both new and refurbished instruments to under-funded school music programs that lack the resources to replace old instruments and provide enough instruments to the increasing numbers of kids who want to play and enjoy a quality music education. It is vital that efforts are made to give youngsters every tool available within the small window of time when they can make the most of their education, and experience the benefits inherent in learning to play music. Nationwide, the foundation has helped over 1,300 school music programs, 44  in New York City and 101 throughout the state.