Music is a gift that touches lives every day. Through our work and the contributions of thousands of donors, young people experience the power and the joy of playing music. We hope you enjoy their stories.
Last Fall, Rina Stone reached out to us to donate her mother’s violin to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation so that it can once again be used to make music:
“The violin belongs to my 92 year old mother, a holocaust survivor. She played in a youth symphony in Germany before WWII until she was expelled for being Jewish..."
Still enjoying my saxophone!
Talented Kaitlyn Meiss was awarded a sax in 2003, then a student at Horizon High in Scottsdale AZ. We were happy to receive this update: "I am still enjoying..."
Continuing His Love of Music
Having a decent trombone to play has allowed me to continue with my love of music. I'm a kid who holds down two part-time jobs, and is very active in my community, so I don't have a lot of time outside of school. By having a trombone, I am able to practice when I can, while earning a high school education.
A grand result
In 2005, Eugene Cottrell, the Director of Bands at Northwood High School in Pittsboro NC, received the Mr. Holland's Opus Award for his dedication to his students and to his profession. And before that, the foundation donated instruments, including a grand marimba, to his wonderful program. Here is an essay by one of his students about how playing it affects her life.
Just thinking about y'all...
Hello, Tricia!!! Catchie Crider here. (Retired Director of Bands Bay High School/Bay St. Louis, MS/as of May 2012) I want to tell you again how much your donations meant to my program back in 2005/2006 after HURRICANE KATRINA. I know we wrote thank you notes but I don’t know if you realized the impact your donations had on ME, personally.
A Student Gives Thanks to Eddie Van Halen
Dear Eddie Van Halen,
I am amazed that I am even writing to you. I am a huge Van Halen fan. My favorite album is Van Halen 2 and my favorite song is a tie between "Women in love" and "Could this be Magic". I think you are one of the greatest guitarists ever to walk this earth.
Getting Down to Business
Dustin was awarded an alto sax in 2006 through the Michael Kamen Solo Program. Only 16 at the time, he showed exceptional talent and passion for life and for his music. We're thrilled with his progress!
"I'm currently on my 5th year of undergrad at USC, and will be graduating in May 2012..."
This Drumline Rocks
The Columbia, MO Citywide Drumline and Rhythm (CMCDR) is alive and doing very well. This year we had eighteen new participants sign up for the CMCDR program. This figure is twice as many as signed up at this time last year.
A Young Dreamer
"From the time I was ten years old, I knew I wanted to be an orchestra teacher. I am blessed to say that this came to fruition!"
Alyssa Blount was awarded a violin in 1998. We recently got an update about her life and career.
Resourcefulness Pays Off
Ashley Hale lives with her father and two siblings in SeaTac WA. Ashley, the most recent Michael Kamen Solo Award recipient graduated high school this year with a 4.0 GPA.
"I have never had enough money to take private trumpet lessons. For new skills, I would look online for recorded trumpet lessons..."