Published : Wednesday, September 20, 2017 | 6:47 PM
Washington Middle School, the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Magnet Academy in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD), received 36 new string instruments, thanks to a $42,290 grant from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. Washington STEAM was selected for the award because of the continued growth of its music programs. Instruments donated through the grant will help create a new strings orchestra class; the school has also funded additional music instruction as part of its commitment to music education.
“The award expands the instrumental music program at Washington STEAM Magnet, creating wonderful opportunities for our student musicians,” said Washington STEAM Magnet Principal Shannon Malone.
The school offers enhanced math, science, and arts learning as part of its magnet focus. Arts performance and practice spaces are part of the school’s new gymnasium complex, which opened earlier this year. The addition of the new orchestra program at Washington STEAM means that every Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) middle school will now offer both band and orchestra programs.
“Giving more kids access to quality music education will transform and accelerate learning, not only in school but in life,” said Felice Mancini, President & CEO of The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. “All children deserve this gift and we applaud the teachers and school districts that recognize and support their music programs. We will support you!”
The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation has partnered with PUSD since 2012. The foundation previously awarded grants to Washington STEAM’s band program, Eliot Arts Magnet, and Marshall Fundamental Secondary School.
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 23,000 instruments have been donated to 1,490 schools across the country. More information can be found at www.mhopus.org.
Washington STEAM Magnet Academy, 1505 North Marengo Ave., Pasadena, (626) 396-5830 or visit www.pusd.us/Page/49.