StubHub’s generous donation was music to many students’ ears.
To celebrate music’s importance in schools, the event ticket seller and the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation surprised over 500 Pelham Preparatory Academy students on Thursday, December 6 with $88,000 in instruments and a private performance by lovelytheband.
Pelham Prep, which serves 511 students grades nine to 12, was selected by Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation based on the foundation’s established selection criteria of schools with greater majority of economically disadvantaged students and have demonstrated a viable music program.
The school received approximately 49 instruments, directly benefiting 57 music students.
Pelham Prep music director Steven Oquendo noted that some of the instruments that his students were playing prior to the donation were more than 60-years-old.
The unveiling occurred at a school prep rally which featured a performance by the school’s band students led by Oquendo.
The program reached its crescendo with a surprise performance by emerging alt-pop trio lovelytheband who are best known for their debut hit single ‘broken.’
The song was the band’s breakout single and spent nine weeks at number one on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart starting in April 2018.
Jeff Poirier, StubHub general manager of music and theater for North America, stated that lovelytheband were the perfect group to discuss music’s impact at an early age and the importance of cultivating music curiosity in school due to their passion for music.
“It was super enlightening to see where all of these students want to want to work in the music industry and you could really see their excitement while listening and engaging with the panelists,” expressed Poirier.
Following the energetic performance, students had the opportunity to meet and take photos with lovelytheband.
The music students engaged with a career panel compromised of music industry representatives who shared their experiences, career advice and more to inspire students to pursue their dreams in music.
Such notable industry professionals included Variety’s senior music editor Jem Aswad and lovelytheband lead singer Mitchy Collins.
As part of its Next Stage Social Good Program with benefiting partner Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, StubHub has committed more than $3 million in instruments into at-risk public school music programs
Over the past three years, StubHub has donated 328 instruments totaling over $377,632 to school programs in the New York area, impacting more than 2,500 students.
“StubHub is instrumental in terms of supporting our school and our campus,” stated principal Benvenuto Ferron. “Without our students this doesn’t happen and today they begin the beginning of a new legacy at Columbus campus in terms of support for the arts.”
Ferron thanked Oquendo and the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation for organizing the event.
According to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, schools with music programs have an estimated 90% graduation rate and 93% attendance rate compared to schools without music education which average 72% for graduation and 85% in attendance.