Band Director Receives $25,000 Grant

Selma Middle School will soon receive approximately $25,000 worth of new musical instruments, thanks to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

With many school music programs across the country losing vital funding, the foundation helps under-served schools with minimal budgets by donating new instruments, often replacing some that are more than 30 years old.

JCS Selma Band Director“I am still very much in shock over this announcement. I am overwhelmed and excited about the possibilities this grant will open up for my students,” said Selma Middle Band Director Paula Coyle. “These students work hard for me, and they deserve these instruments. I can hardly wait to put them to use.”

An application for support was submitted by Selma Middle School, and the foundation found their program to be a worthwhile investment, allowing more students to be able to play and experience the benefits of music education.

“On behalf of our Selma Middle School community, I would like to thank The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation for their generous grant donation valued at $25,000 in band instruments and equipment,” said Selma Middle Principal John Bell. “This grant will enable our band program to continue to thrive and grow.  Our students will now have the gift of music for years to come, and we are so very grateful and humbled by this opportunity.”

“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.”

Since the arrival of band director, Mrs. Paula Coyle, interest in the music program at Selma Middle School has been on the rise. Selma Middle’s current band enrollment: 12 eighth graders, 18 seventh graders, 18 sixth graders and fifty fifth graders. Mrs. Coyle has supported the music program wholeheartedly, applying for and receiving several grants over her three-year tenure at Selma Middle School in order to give students the best musical education experience possible.

The total value of the grant is $25,689 and it includes two alto saxophones, three trombones, three trumpets, three flutes, a double french horn, a concert baritone, two clarinets, a bari saxophone, 10 trumpet mouthpieces, 10 trombone/baritone mouthpieces, two french horn mouthpieces, and two bari sax mouthpieces with ligatures/caps.

The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation donates musical instruments to under-funded 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 20 years, over 20,000 instruments have been donated to over 1,360 schools across the country.