Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation

Founded in 1996, The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation donates new and refurbished musical instruments to underserved schools nationwide, 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.
Jun 20, 2013

A Legacy

      Last Fall, Rina Stone reached out to us to donate her mother’s violin to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation so that it can once again be used to make music:

“The violin belongs to my 92 year old mother, a holocaust survivor.  She played in a youth symphony in Germany before WWII until she was expelled for being Jewish. Although this is not the original violin she played in her youth, it was purchased about 40 years ago when she decided to start playing again and joined a neighborhood orchestra.”

       This Spring we were excited to inform Rina that her mother’s violin had a new home at Santa Ana High School in Santa Ana, CA; only an hour from where she lives!

       Joseph Kaye, Director of Orchestras at Santa Ana High School, applied for the Michael Kamen Grant last Fall. He was hired to help rebuild Santa Ana High's orchestra program. He started by repairing instruments so that more students could enroll and he also volunteered at the local middle school that feeds into Santa Ana H.S. teaching music after school to ensure a strong incoming freshman class. In just one year he was able to increase the Orchestra program enrollment by 50%. Despite his efforts, and the support from Santa Ana High School and the Santa Ana Unified School District, it was common for two or three students to share the same instrument.

       Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we were able to award Santa Ana High School $400 towards the repair of instruments, two new string bass outfits, a refurbished cello, a refurbished viola, and five refurbished violins. One of the violins we donated to Santa Ana High School belonged to Rina’s mother.

       We shared Rina’s story with Mr. Kaye:
“We are very blessed to have such wonderful instruments and the story behind the donors and their instrument is inspiring. Currently, the violin is being used by Ganelia Espinosa, a freshman in the beginning orchestra who has taken to violin and will be coming in throughout the summer to further her skills.”

       We know how difficult it is to part with a cherished instrument that has memories and history, but knowing that a child like Ganelia will breathe new life into it makes it so worthwhile.

       To learn how you can donate an instrument to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, click here.

       To see a full list of schools we awarded this school year click here.

Mar 29, 2013

Commitment to Music Education

    We have a dream - that all the school districts supporting the hundreds of schools and students we help will make a long-term commitment to keeping music alive in their schools. With a very public and sincere commitment to making sure that music programs are strong and robust now and in the future, school districts, one at a time, are pledging just that through the Commitment to Music Education.

    This newly-established partnership with the foundation allows each participating district to show that they recognize the value and benefit of music education and demand it for all students in their care. As the foundation makes a major investment in each district, each district promises to protect and maintain that investment through this partnership.

We support, applaud and thank the following districts who share this vision:

    • The Independent School District of Boise in Boise, ID
    • Washington Elementary School District in Glendale, AZ
    • Green Bay Area Public Schools in Green Bay, WI
    • Pendergast Elementary School District in Phoenix, AZ
    • Lennox School District in Lennox, CA
    • Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools in Nashville, TN
    • Pasadena Unified School District in Pasadena, CA
    • St. Paul Public Schools in St. Paul, MN
    • Fontana Unified School District in Fontana, CA
    • Tulsa Public Schools in Tulsa, OK

Please check our website frequently as this list will continue to grow.


Dec 28, 2012

The Time for Music is Now

I.S. 52 Inwood Middle School Band in New York, NY
I.S. 52 Inwood Middle School Band in New York, NY

     An instrument donation from the The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation will benefit a school for years to come.

Below is an update from a school that was awarded a few years ago:

December 21, 2012

Hi Tricia and Everyone at MHOF,

I just caught my breath after all our performances and wanted to get this off to you before the holiday break. My students' appetite for music is insatiable! At our school's holiday show this year we performed twice the amount of music we normally do to an audience filled with admirers, supporters, and many band alumni from years past. We also spent our mornings before school this week marching the neighborhood and visiting the area elementary schools for the Tiger Band version of caroling. I was apprehensive about leading a marching band through the streets at 7:30AM but my principal and the community loved it and we put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces. One woman who saw us and is otherwise unaffiliated with our school, bought and delivered dozens upon dozens of donuts and hot chocolate to award the hard working band members! So as you can tell, the I.S.52 Inwood Tiger Band is still going strong, thanks in large part to the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year,

Brian Moore
Band Director/ Music Teacher
I.S. 52 Inwood Middle School
New York, NY

P.S. I attached a quick photo I took right before a performance- a little out of focus but I think it captures the energy and enthusiasm of the band nicely!

Make your year-end gift today and put an instrument into a child's hands this school year!


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