Thursday, June 4, 2015

Donation of instruments will rev up music education in Manchester

Maureen and Todd Berkowitz of Manchester Subaru;
Tim Russell, representing Manchester music educators;
Ernie Boch, Jr.; Mayor Ted Gatsas; and Debra Livingston at the Music Drives Us Foundation
presentation to Manchester School District 
Manchester schools have received 110 musical instruments worth more than $25,000 to enhance music education in the district. They are the gift of Music Drives Us and Manchester Subaru, which joined forces to provide the donation.

The Music Drives Us Foundation was established in 2006 to help support music programs for the underserved and to prevent music education in schools from being cut due to budget reductions and other obstacles.

“Music can be used as a tool to better the lives of people everywhere, especially children,” said Ernie Boch Jr., founder of Music Drives Us and president & CEO of Subaru of New England.  “I’m honored to be here today with the schoolchildren of Manchester and bring them so many wonderful instruments.”

Every Manchester school will receive a plaque
commemorating today's donation
Music Drives Us has made similar contributions to music programs in schools all over New England, but this one for Manchester is the organization’s largest single donation to date.

“We are thrilled to be the recipient of this generous gift,” said Manchester School District superintendent Debra Livingston. “The new instruments will increase students’ access to music, which research shows is an important part of any education.”

Manchester Subaru was a critical partner and contributor to the funding that benefited schools in the Queen City.

“Music has been my biggest passion since childhood,” said Todd Berkowitz, Manchester Subaru owner. “I’m thrilled to share this great love of mine and of Ernie Boch Jr.’s, with the students of Manchester.”

Middle School at Parkside 6th grade orchestra 
Manchester School District music teachers across the city came up with a wish list of instruments, which they will share and distribute to music students in grades four through 12.

To showcase some of the talent for Boch and Berkowitz, bands and orchestras from Weston Elementary School, Middle School at Parkside and Memorial High School performed several pieces with the new instruments.

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