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Boys Town High School Receives Musical Instruments from the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation

Youth at band practice.

The Mr. Holland’s Opus ​Foundation has given a collection of musical instruments to the music program at Boys Town High School. With a total value of about $22,000, the collection includes clarinets, xylophones, bell kits, saxophones, trumpets, flutes and baritones for students living in the Village of Boys Town.

The musical instruments will give students the opportunity to learn many new skills. “Our kids and music staff are so grateful and excited to receive this grant and the instruments,” said Jennifer Fitzke, Vocal Music Teacher, Boys Town High School. “Many times when a youth chooses to learn an instrument, it is their first success at learning something new in life. By receiving this grant, the youth here and in the future will have the chance at that learning success.”

Besides learning new skills, the realization of passion and love through music changes the prospects for imagination and creativity. “Receiving the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation grant is a game-changer for our students in the Boys Town Band,” said John Mayo, Music Teacher, Boys Town High School. “We want to help our students discover a gift and passion for life through music. We want to give each student another reason to make good decisions. Band can be that reason in their life.”

Dr. Bob Reznicek, Superintendent of Boys Town Schools, said music can be an important part of a young person’s development, and this donation will strengthen the High School’s music program. “The generosity and kindness displayed by the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation will allow many Boys Town students to have a positive experience in selecting, learning and playing musical instruments,” he said. “This gift will truly allow us to provide additional positive experiences for our students in the area of the Fine Arts.”

In addition to the donated instruments, the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and Boys Town have another special connection. Years ago, when filming started on the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus, the set crew came to Boys Town’s Music Hall and took hundreds of still shots, and  one scene in the movie shows the brass rails from the auditorium. The foundation was inspired by the movie and founded by the film’s composer, Michael Kamen.

By keeping music alive in our schools, both Boys Town and the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation are giving every student a chance to thrive.