American Idol Finalist Bo Bice Donates Clarinet To CMA Sponsored "Be Instrumental" Used Band Instrument Drive

The Be Instrumental used band instrument drive, organized by the Nashville Alliance for Public Education and CMA during CMA Music Festival, drummed up lots of support for deserving music students and programs in Metro Nashville Public Schools.

“We are so grateful to the residents of this community and the music industry who donated instruments for this campaign,” said Tammy Genovese, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “I have seen firsthand the impact having an instrument has on a child. Getting these long-forgotten flutes, trumpets, and clarinets into the hands of these deserving music students is something we can all be proud of. This is only the beginning of what we can accomplish in the future.”

“The instrument drive created a great deal of interest and awareness for the program,” said Pam Garrett, Executive Director of the Alliance. “This definitely helps increase the number of instruments we have in Metro Schools’ music programs. CMA and the artists have been so generous the past three years in their support of ‘Keep the Music Playing’ and now the public can support the program, as well. Everyone can play a part. Thank you, thank you to everyone who participated.”

Among the donations were a 1905 silver-plated saxophone and a mint-condition clarinet that belonged to – and was personally delivered by – “American Idol” finalist Bo Bice.

The level of interest from the community compelled the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to offer to be a drop off location through the end of the month for anyone who wasn’t able to donate during the Festival.

“When we heard about the ‘Be Instrumental’ drive, we were delighted to assist in such a worthwhile cause,” said Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Vice President of Museum Services Carolyn Tate. “Education is an important part of the Museum’s mission, and we hope that our central location will be a convenient stop for anyone wishing to donate an instrument.”

Anyone can drop gently-used band instruments off at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum during regular business hours from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM daily (no guitars please). You may drop them off at Guest Services in the Conservatory and receive a coupon for $5 off your admission to the Museum for up to five family members. The coupon is valid through Dec. 31, 2009. Forms will be provided so donors can receive tax credit for their donation.

“We want to keep this program going and hopefully encourage other communities to support music education in the same way,” said Steve Moore, Senior Vice President of AEG Live! and President of CMA’s Board of Directors. “In many cases, the instruments we collected were collecting dust in the back of a closet. They were idle and forgotten when they could be making a difference in the life of a child.”

The instruments will supplement the thousands of new instruments already purchased by CMA with funds from CMA Music Festival. To date, CMA has donated more than $2.2 million to support music education in Metro Nashville Public Schools on behalf of the artists who perform at the Festival for free through a partnership with the Nashville Alliance known as “Keep the Music Playing.”

Valory Music artist Jimmy Wayne was on hand during the Festival to help collect instruments in the Dr Pepper®-McDonald’s® Family Zone.

“I want to say ‘Thanks’ to everyone who braved the heat Thursday to come downtown and donate their band instruments to the Nashville Alliance for Public Education,” Wayne said. “I know they will be put to good use by the kids who benefit from them. And there’s still time for those who maybe couldn’t get off work to make a difference in a child’s life. Get those instruments out, shine ’em up, and bring them on over to one of my favorite places in the world – the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.”

The research-based evidence shows that a greater emphasis on the visual and performing arts in education is important for boosting academic performance and engaging students in the learning environment. Plus, local statistics show that 98.7 percent of students who participate in school arts programs go on to graduate. At a time when school budgets are being cut, it is tempting to write off the importance of music education, especially when a new flute costs roughly $200 or more than $6,000 for a performance quality bassoon.

“This is a great opportunity for people in our community to support music education and our children,” said Garrett. “Now is the time to ‘Be Instrumental’ in the life of a child.”

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