Palm Springs: “ This morning, musician and songwriter Barry Manilow fulfilled his promise. At a press conference held at Palm Springs High School, Manilow, determined to revitalize the ailing music programs in schools, did so today by giving over $500,000 in musical instruments to middle and high schools in the Palm Springs, Coachella Valley and Desert Sands Unified School Districts.

In response to the needs of the local public schools and their severely depleted music programs, Manilow gathered some friends and formed The Manilow Music Project as part of his nonprofit Manilow Health and Hope Fund. The mission statement of the Manilow Music Project (MMP) highlights the importance of music programs in our schools and donates instruments and materials to school music programs. The MMP is sponsored by Manilow, along with Yamaha, Hal Leonard, Toys “R” Us Childrens Fund, and the non-profit Manilow Fund For Health and Hope.

Manilow spoke to the crowd of teachers, school administrators and special guests in a brief and impassioned speech of encouragement by sharing how his own life had been profoundly changed by music. Having been given the gift of a piano when he was a young boy, Manilow knows first hand the power and ability that music carries in making the difference in a child’s life.

Flanked by students representing each of the 20 schools who are the recipients of these instruments, Manilow challenged others to join him in the encouragement and empowerment of our youth.

For donations and more information on the Manilow Music Project, please go to www.manilowfund.org