By Tim Saunders on
The Copacabana King is committing a considerable contribution to the Coachella Valley.
64-year-old Barry Manilow has pledged over $250,000 worth of musical instruments to the public middle and high schools surrounding Palm Springs in a bid to give students the same opportunities he received in his high school music class.
“I would have been a loser had I not had that music class,” said Manilow. “When I got into high school, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. Then I hit the music class and I felt like I was on solid ground. I made friends… I learned how to work with other students and my grades went up in all the other classes because I had more confidence. It was the music class that did it for me.”
The donation follows Manilow’s gift of more than $10,000 worth of musical instruments to Palm Desert Middle School in January, and is a result of a young girl who approached the singer with a plea.
“It started with this one girl, Emma Reinhart, who said the whole school she goes to ‘needs some instruments and would you consider giving them a hand?’” said Manilow. “I had never thought about that. I knew schools around the country are suffering. Music classes keep being cut, and if they do have a class [then] they’re in terrible shape.”
After making the initial donation, Manilow attended a concert by the Palm Desert Middle School band.
“It was probably the most moving concert I’d ever been to,” he said. “And the fact that I had something to do with it was very moving to me.”
Manilow intends to continue his quest to keep music alive in schools in the near future.
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