Yamaha Artist Jeff Coffin Returns to Spaulding High School to Raise Awareness of the Importance of Music Education

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Coffin’s appearance was the latest example of an effort by Yamaha, in conjunction with DonorsChoose.org, to provide much-needed aid to public school music programs all over the country

L to R: Joanne Houston, director of music, SHS; Rob Goodwin, music director, SHS; John Wittmann, director of artist relations and education, Yamaha; Brian Petterson, marketing manager, B&O, Yamaha.

"The Yamaha #MusicEssentials campaign is a further evolution in our long-standing commitment to supporting music educators and a mark of our commitment to providing tangible, actionable tools for their classrooms,” says Lisa MacDonald, director of marketing, Yamaha Corporation of America.

Spaulding High School grad and saxophonist of Dave Matthews Band, Jeff Coffin, returned to the campus in Rochester, New Hampshire on Tuesday, November 28th for a surprise visit with music students and their teachers. After performing with the Spaulding High School Concert Band and speaking words of inspiration, Coffin, alongside Yamaha, presented the school with a brand-new Yamaha YX-500F xylophone valued at more than $4,000.

Coffin’s appearance was the latest example of an effort by Yamaha in conjunction with DonorsChoose.org—a non-profit that accepts donations large and small from individuals and institutions—to provide much-needed aid to public school music programs all over the country. By matching the contributions of nearly 3,000 citizen donors mobilized from local communities, Yamaha has contributed $250,000 to the $500,000 worth of instruments and equipment that DonorsChoose.org has donated to more than 659 schools thus far, with more than 85 percent of the recipients coming from high-need districts. Overall, DonorsChoose.org has provided aid to one in four American public schools. Its partnership with Yamaha has affected the lives of 163,000 music students and nearly 700 teachers.

According to Lisa MacDonald, director of marketing, Yamaha Corporation of America, awareness and inspiration are just as important as equipment, which is why Coffin’s appearance was so valuable. “Music education provides a platform for academic success that sustains students long after graduation. The Yamaha #MusicEssentials campaign is a further evolution in our long-standing commitment to supporting music educators and a mark of our commitment to providing tangible, actionable tools for their classrooms,” says MacDonald. “We are so appreciative that Jeff could join us here today to highlight the good being accomplished in one such classroom and to send the message that music education matters. We hope music lovers everywhere will follow his lead and investigate how they can help a music teacher in their area. Supporting a music program is an investment in the success of our children as well-rounded human beings.”

For the students at Spaulding High School, having one of their own deliver that message provided a powerful lesson that they’ll never to forget.

“When I think about my years at Spaulding HS, I think about the deep friendships I made there, the countless lessons I learned (good and bad), and the joys and sorrows I shared with my friends,” Coffin said. “These are some of the building blocks of who I am today, and I will always have a special place in my heart for the time I spent in Rochester.”

“And, I want to say a huge thank you to Yamaha for their groundbreaking #MusicEssentials program,” Coffin added. “As a Yamaha Performing Artist, I have been given the opportunity and potential to share the many benefits of music education with future generations of students and educators. I am forever grateful for their meaningful support and friendship.”

“From the moment he walked in, our kids bonded with Jeff,” said Joanne Houston, music teacher and Spaulding High School dean of students. “He made a connection with them and inspired all of us. I can’t thank him—and Yamaha—enough for making this happen.”

For more information about Yamaha #MusicEssentials, please visit 4wrd.it/MusicEssentials

About Yamaha
Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement, commercial installation and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and NEXO commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, MusicCast wireless multiroom audio systems, Blu-ray/CD players, earphones, headphones, home-theater-in-a-box systems, sound bars and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, music, professional audio installation and
consumer markets.

About DonorsChoose.org
Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. At this nonprofit website, teachers at half of all the public schools in America have created project requests, and more than a million people have donated $238 million to projects that inspire them. All told, 11 million students—most from low-income communities, and many in disaster-stricken areas—have received books, art supplies, field trips, technology, and other resources that they need to learn.

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Peter Giles
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