Troup School students receive gift of music

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National Foundation Awards Grant to Outstanding Local Music Program
Mayor Toni N. Harp and Superintendent of Schools Garth Harries joined students, faculty and community members Thursday at Augusta Lewis Troup School to announce an exciting donation
of musical instruments, thanks to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.
On hand for the announcement were student musicians, who performed a special selection using their new instruments. Students also gave personal stories about their interest in music and what it means to them to receive a donated instrument to play in the school concert band and strings ensemble. The donation of musical instruments included a tuba, French horn, euphonium, four flutes, three trumpets, a string bass, two cellos, six violas, and two violins. The total retail value of this donation is $24,319.
With many music programs across the country losing vital funding, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation helps under-served schools that don't have adequate funds to purchase or repair their instruments. The goal is to allow more students to play and experience the benefits of music education.
“If we want our children to grow up to be imaginative and innovative thinkers, we must foster a love of music and the arts. In New Haven, we are lucky to have enriching music and arts education curriculum in all of our schools. Investments like this one by the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation enable us to bring music to life for our students,” said Superintendent Harries.
"The monetary value of this gift is extraordinary – and we are grateful - but the meaning of this gift in other terms is so much more valuable," Mayor Harp said. "I believe in the power of music to reach and exercise vitally important parts of us, and that’s another reason why I’m so pleased about this expansion of music into New Haven Public Schools and the Troup School."
"Music and education work together to develop the whole child comprehensively. I am extremely excited that we are able to expand our music department as well as encourage more students to play an instrument,” said Troup Principal Michael Conner.
“Learning music in school is a way to engage kids and give them something that makes them better students and better people,” said Felice Mancini, President & CEO of The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.  “They deserve every tool available to help them receive a quality education, and we want to insure that music is in that toolbox."
Ellen Maust, Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts for the district, applauded the donation by The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation in New Haven Schools and said the investment is a testament to the district’s commitment to enriching music education.
“Through the study of music, students learn to analyze, interpret, and evaluate, thus, becoming creative critical thinkers. Music education also fosters student and parent engagement. It develops perseverance, resiliency, self discipline, and teamwork.  Aren’t these the skills that are needed for our students to be college and career ready?” Maust said.  
In addition to investments by The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, the district has received generous donations from another national partner, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, which provided instruments to start up 15 of our 30 middle school instrumental programs. In February, former Superintendent Dr. Reginald Mayo was awarded the Administration Award for Distinguished Support of Music Education by the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. He was presented the award at the National Conference on Education in Nashville.
Troup School has one of the largest instrumental music programs in the district. Music education is a part of the core curriculum at Troup School and helps to fulfill the school’s mission of educating the whole child. The school addresses the needs of nearly 150 student musicians in the band program, which has three different level bands and a jazz band.  Currently, Troup has more than 50 students studying string instruments.
The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation donates new and refurbished musical instruments to under-served schools in an effort to give youngsters the many benefits of music education, help them to be better students and inspire creativity and expression through playing music. The organization was inspired by the 1995 motion picture Mr. Holland’s Opus and founded by Michael Kamen, who composed the music for the movie and countless others.  In the last 16 years, over 15,000 new and refurbished instruments have been donated to over 1,300 schools across the country.  More information can be found at