SOURCE: The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation

April 14, 2010 10:00 ET

Eighth Annual Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation Award Presented at Carnegie Hall

Original "Mr. Holland" Richard Dreyfuss to Present Award to Five Music Teachers on April 16

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 14, 2010) -  The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports music education in public schools across the country, will present its eighth annual music teacher awards at Carnegie Hall in New York on April 16. Five music teachers were selected from across the country and, in addition to the honor, will each receive $10,000. The award recognizes music teachers who best emulate the personal characteristics and dedication of "Mr. Holland," portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss in the hit 1995 movie.

Dreyfuss, who has twice before handed out the prestigious award for the foundation, will again make the presentation during a concert saluting Lerner and Loewe, performed by the New York Pops and conducted by Steven Reineke. The award is funded by Guitar Center which has been the sole sponsor since the inception of the award in 2001.

This year's awards will mark the 14th anniversary of the foundation, founded by composer Michael Kamen who passed away in 2003. "Michael would be very proud to see his legacy continued through our work," said Felice Mancini, executive director of The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation and daughter of legendary composer Henry Mancini. "During the past 14 years, hundreds of thousands of children have been able to continue their music education as a result of our efforts, but we've still only scratched the surface."

"Teachers like those we honor this year provide inspiration to our children," said Marty Albertson, CEO of Guitar Center. "Their unselfish dedication needs to be recognized and rewarded, and we need to encourage others to follow in their footsteps to help shape the future of our society."

The 2010 Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation awardees are: Benjamin Das, Pritzker College Prep, Chicago IL; William Doolan, Kickapoo Area School, Viola WI; Victoria Miller, Martin Luther King Jr./Sr. High School, Detroit MI; Charles Stephens, Waltrip High School, Houston TX; and Vincent P. Womack, Foshay Learning Center, Los Angeles CA.

Music teachers who receive this honor meet criteria including:

  • Instill a love of music in their students through instrumental music instruction in grades K-12
  • Have the passion, dedication and leadership skills to persevere under difficult circumstances
  • Give generously of their time, energy and talent, exceeding what is expected of music educators
  • Demonstrate creativity regardless of availability of instruments, materials, classroom space and budget limitations
  • Inspire students and challenge them to attain the highest level of musicianship
  • Encourage musical growth through ongoing individual and group performance, auditions and evaluations

The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation donates new and refurbished musical instruments to underserved schools, community music programs and individual students nationwide, 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. Since 1996, instruments have been donated to 1,055 school and community music programs across the country benefiting thousands of students. More information can be found at

Note to media: Press interested in covering the event, please contact Steve Honig, 818-986-4300. Photographs from the award ceremony will be available upon request immediately following the event.

Contact Information

  • Contact: Steve Honig
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