StubHub has announced a $3 million, three-year initiative to bring musical instruments into more U.S. classrooms. The commitment extends an existing, four-year partnership with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOF), made possible by a grand provided by the StubHub Foundation, a corporate-advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
Since beginning the initiative 2015, StubHub and MHOF have brought $2 million worth of instruments into classrooms across the country that will benefit more than 100,000 students in more than 50 schools, over the course of the instruments’ lives.
“Since working with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation over the last four years, we have been exposed to the incredible need for music programs in our public schools. In addition to renewing StubHub’s commitment to keep music alive in our schools, we want to bring more awareness to this issue in hopes of inspiring others to do the same,” says Glenn Lehrman, global head of communications at StubHub.
The program kicks off Wednesday (March 14) at South by Southwest with Bedichek Middle School in Austin, Texas — the first school to benefit from the grant — receiving more than $12,000 in music instruments for its string and marching band programs.
“This instrument donation opens up a world of possibilities for our music students,” says Bedichek’s Orchestra Director Samantha Stewart. “We’re grateful to StubHub for shining a light on the need for music education in public schools and my orchestra students are beyond excited to open up their showcase!”
Before opening StubHub’s two-day SXSW Next Stage showcase at Banger’s in downtown Austin, Jukebox the Ghost will perform an acoustic set for the students at Bedichek.
“I started playing piano at the age of 6 and was lucky enough to have access to an instrument that has played such a big part in my life. It was part of the fabric of my childhood,” says Ben Thornewill, pianist for Jukebox the Ghost. “Not every kid has that opportunity, but they should. That’s why we’re teaming up with StubHub and the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to help the next generation of musicians get access to the instruments they need.”
Markets eligible for the grants are chosen jointly by StubHub, MHOF and partner artists and brands, with schools selected based on criteria established by MHOF. Interested schools are encouraged to contact the foundation directly.
“Music programs in schools have been linked to improved academics — statistics show they yield higher graduation and attendance rates,” says MHOF president Felice Mancini. “Yet music programs are constantly in danger of being cut from school budgets and this is even more true in low-income districts. With companies like StubHub, passionate artists and industry support, we can give all students the opportunity to explore the world of music.”