US crooner Barry Manilow has donated $300,000 (£187,000) worth of new musical instruments to a school that was hit by a devastating tornado this earlier this year.
The worst tornado to hit the city of Joplin, Missouri, in more than 50 years saw the music library of Joplin High School completely destroyed, but the donation from the Manilow Music Project will help to buy brand new musical instruments to rebuild the department.
In addition, the singer-songwriter will be visiting the school to deliver the donations himself on Thursday (October 27th).
“I know firsthand how invaluable music can be to get you through life’s tough times. It is an honour and a privilege to help these kids after such a disaster,” he said ahead of the event.
Manilow was made aware of the crisis after local business Fitterling Dentistry, which was also destroyed in the tornado last May, wanted to help to rebuild the community and contacted the charity.
The Manilow Music Project aims to highlight the importance of school music programmes in the US and donate musical instruments.
This week will also see the singer take part in a community drive for yet more new or gently used instruments from the public to be donated to the school, as well as monetary donations to help to rebuild the school’s destroyed library of sheet music.
“We feel very blessed to have an artist of Barry Manilow’s stature committed to helping our students,” said Rick Castor, Joplin High School’s music director.
Earlier this year, Manilow personally donated ten Yamaha keyboards to the Orange County Public School District as part of the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope. The fund was formed in response to the poor music programmes that are run in public schools in the US by supplying students with instruments and by highlighting the issue around the country.
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