News…

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Students in eight West Virginia public schools will enjoy the sounds that new musical instruments make in their bands and music classes this year, thanks to a partnership between the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) and the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.

On Oct. 17 and 18, Rob Davidson, program director for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, will join West Virginia leaders and program partners on a tour of schools across the state that are participating in the program this year. A schedule for the presentations is included.

The eight new schools are Beckley-Stratton Middle School in Raleigh County, George Washington Middle School in Putnam County, Horace Mann Middle School in Kanawha County, Milton Middle School in Cabell County, Summers Middle School in Summers County, Summersville Middle School in Nicholas County, Trap Hill Middle School in Raleigh County and Wahama Junior/Senior High School in Mason County.

West Virginia is the largest and first statewide effort VHI Save The Music has undertaken. Since 2010, the partnership has put $1.29 million worth of instruments in 43 schools across the state. Each school receives 11 clarinets, eight flutes, six trumpets, four trombones, three alto saxophones, a bass drum and stand, one bell kit, one snare drum and stand, one set of bass drum mallets, 1 set of bell mallets, 16-inch hand cymbals and one set of cymbal straps and pads worth a total of more than $30,000.

“West Virginia is on course to bring musical instruments to every elementary and middle school in our state that has a qualified music teacher, and we hope to see programs in every county of the state within the next few years,” said WVDCH Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith. “Studies show that music education helps develop critical thinking and self-discipline skills, and improves early cognitive development.  We also hope that our students will develop a lifelong interest in music and other arts as a result of these educational experiences.”

Reid-Smith said the matching partnership program encourages interested organizations and individuals to donate $15,000 for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation match.  The schools, in turn, complete a comprehensive review of their music programs to demonstrate eligibility for the program.

Any traditional West Virginia public elementary or middle school that has a certified music teacher and wants to build its instrumental music program may qualify for a VH1 Save The Music Foundation grant, according to Reid-Smith.

For more information, contact WVDCH Arts Director Renée Margocee at (304) 558-0240 or [email protected].

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. To date, VH1 Save The Music Foundation has provided more than $50 million in new musical instruments to 1,900 public schools in more than 100 cities across the country, impacting the lives of more than 2.3 million children. The Foundation has renewed its commitment to donate $100 million worth of new musical instruments to ensure that even a greater number of students receive a comprehensive music education in the coming decade. Get involved and learn more at www.vh1savethemusic.com.

The VH1 Save the Music Foundation presentation schedule is:

      Thursday, Oct. 17
8 a.m.             Summersville Middle School, Summersville                        
10 a.m.           Trap Hill Middle School, Glen Daniel                       
11:30 a.m.      Beckley-Stratton Middle School, Beckley                
2 p.m.             Summers Middle School, Hinton

      Friday, Oct. 18
8:30 a.m.        Horace Mann Middle School, Charleston                     
10:30 a.m.      Milton Middle School, Milton                      
12:15 p.m.      George Washington Middle School, Eleanor
2:15 p.m.        Wahama Junior/Senior High School, Mason

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