Eight West Virginia public schools are entering into a partnership between the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.
They are: Beckley-Stratton Middle School in Raleigh County, George Washington Middle School in Putnam County, Horace Mann Middle School in Kanawha County, Milton Middle School in Cabell County, Summers Middle School in Summers County, Summersville Middle School in Nicholas County, Trap Hill Middle School in Raleigh County and Wahama Junior/Senior High School in Mason County.
Each school receives 11 clarinets, eight flutes, six trumpets, four trombones, three alto saxophones, a bass drum and stand, one bell kit, one snare drum and stand, one set of bass drum mallets, 1 set of bell mallets, 16-inch hand cymbals and one set of cymbal straps and pads worth a total of more than $30,000.
Since 2010, the partnership has put $1.29 million worth of instruments in 43 schools across the state.
"West Virginia is on course to bring musical instruments to every elementary and middle school in our state that has a qualified music teacher, and we hope to see programs in every county of the state within the next few years," said Randall Reid-Smith, commissioner of the Division of Culture and History.
Reid-Smith said the matching partnership program encourages interested organizations and individuals to donate $15,000 for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation match. The schools then complete a comprehensive review of their music programs to demonstrate eligibility for the program.
Any traditional West Virginia public elementary or middle school that has a certified music teacher and wants to build its instrumental music program may qualify for a VH1 Save The Music Foundation grant, Reid-Smith said.