We'll keep you posted on the drive right here, whether it's media exposures we get, number of instruments collected, instrument or volunteer needs, and eventually, the distribution news as we send the instruments to the schools the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation has chosen for us. If you have donated an instrument, we'll link to a page with a table of all the serial numbers, so that you can privately determine where your donation went. (Your serial number is on your donor form. If it's missing or illegible, contact the store and we can furnish it to you.)
27010 Center Ridge Rd in Westlake, OH administers the
Play On Instrument Drive in Northeast Ohio.
The store contributes organizational support,
and coordinates both collateral contributions (such as this website and all printed materials and advertising), volunteer efforts (for
instrument refurbishing and pickup), and
repairs and parts (donated by Skyline Music
and our partner donors in the music industry).
Visit the Skyline Music website
March 13, 2006
The first requests are now coming in for instruments, and we'll be shipping horns to schools in Louisiana and Mississippi this week. Before the end of March, we'll have tables linked to this page that will show where each serial number ends up. If your instrument doesn't go
out right away, don't get anxious! Tricia Steel, our contact at MHOF is working diligently to ensure that the instruments go to schools and kids in need, but particularly for the Katrina victims, this isn't simply a matter of shipping horns down! Remember the devastation in the Gulf area: some of the most deserving schools aren't even in operation yet! One thing we will not do is ship your contributions down to some "holding" warehouse. We all know how such dispostions can "go awry", to put it delicately. If necessary,
we will store the instruments ourselves and disburse them when some of these schools are up and running in the Fall. We are adamant that these horns go directly to the kids who need them and not into a bureacratic black hole.
February 25, 2006
The Mardi Gras Celebration drew a big crowd: in addition to the usual kids and Skyline revelers, FOX8 News and the Sun Newspapers both had cameras in place, and several donors showed up to join in the festivities. Prominent among the last minute donations were several associated with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra (CYO) which heard about our drive and joined forces with Play On rather than starting a separate drive. Also present were representatives of Royalton Music in North Royalton, who scoured their back room to find some intruments in need of a good home. Music director Christine Dolce of the Lakewood Catholic Academy also stopped by just before the closing day to contribute several instruments her school wouldn't be using.
The last ten days saw the contribution total surge to over 110 instruments. There are still some valuations we're researching, but the dollar total at conservative used prices is over $21,000!
January 26, 2006
Publicity from the Sun Newspapers and community word-of-mouth helped propel the Drive through the Christmas Season. While it has been tough to post things to the website as often as we'd wish (there was still a store to run!), the donations have streamed in! We met a lot of wonderful people from as far away as Youngstown (and by connections to people in the area, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.!) who have donated instruments to the Drive. Once we passed the fifty instrument mark, though, we realized that a simple number of instruments doesn't tell the story, so we've begun using their "market value" as a better measure (See sidebar at right for an idea how we assign that value.) Based on the instruments under our roof, we've passed the $10,000 mark! If you were to try to get new instruments of the same type, list prices would almost triple that figure, which shows how important this recylcing effort is! While we now have enough horns for an average-size middle school band, that's only one school: there are hundreds of them in need down there, so keep the word floating! There's another month to the drive, and we don't want people to think it's over because they heard about it before Christmas!
November 26, 2005
Our launch event (see photos at right) featured refreshments and some live music from our friends UPensemble. Fox8News sent a cameraman to get some footage for a followup, and the Sun newspapers interviewed me a couple of days before the holiday and then sent a photographer out to catch the event!
Our Christmas Gift Guide also reached homes Thanksgving weekend, which announced the Play On Instrument Drive to the Skyline Music customer base. Some of our community contacts are getting the word into church bulletins, employee newsletters, and PTA announcements.
Volunteers have begun to sign up to help with instrument preparation and clerical tasks. (Contact our Community Volunteer Coordinator Barbara Sanderson throught the volunteer page if you'd like to help out). As of launch weekend we have about two dozen instruments under our roof: a nice start, but we all know how many are out there sitting unplayed. Help us spread the word!
November 20, 2005
The Play On store at CafePress is active, and the Skyline Exclusives store with music-themed items is getting more products almost every day. All profits from both sites go to MHOF until the Drive ends in February. Do some Christmas shopping and help the kids!
November 13, 2005
The good folks at FOX8 News sent reporter Kevin Freeman to help tell our story, and the station ran a feature on the 10pm news that night and repeated it the next morning. That same week, NewsChannel 5 asked me to tape a segment of Leon Bibb's public affairs program Kaleidoscope, which will air November 27. Donations have begun arriving ahead of our launch--thanks to the Fox coverage!
October 31, 2005
The brochures are back from the printer, and we've assembled all our media kits for radio and TV stations. Press releases go out this week as well. We're hoping to get some attention in the next couple of weeks so we can do a bigger push as we hit Thanksgiving. Now's the time to spread the word. If anyone needs brochures to hand out, contact the store or stop in. Remember we're not set up to accept instruments until Thanksgiving--we're still nailing down forms and other details, but mention the Drive to anyone you meet!
At the Skyline Music Mardi Gras celebration that closed the Drive on February 25, inanimate spokesmodels Antoine & Toulouse adorn a partial pile of the donations.
Play Community Volunteer Coordinator Barbara Sanderson (left) and Dan made the road trip out to Niles, OH to retrieve Veronica Caruso's contribution: a full van load of marching percussion formerly used by her baton corps.
Volunteers from area high schools continue to meet at Skyline Music to help with the task of cleaning and adjusting the donated instruments. Christopher Burge (left) oversees the process.
Shown are Skyline staffers and student volunteers from North Olmsted, Bay Village, Westlake, and Columbia Station.
UPensemble performed live in the store
during the Play On Instrument Drive's
launch reception, donating their performance to help the cause.
Skyline staffer Stephanie Missirlis and volunteer Taylor Sanderson begin cleaning flutes donated to the Drive. The instruments will be completely torn down and cleaned, pads will be replaced as necessary, and each instrument will be regulated and playtested before it leaves the store for its new home.