Theater News

Andrew Lloyd Webber Will Bring Music Programs to 20 New York City Public Middle Schools

The ”School of Rock” composer has gifted the City of New York’s Fund for Public Schools with a generous sum.

Andrew Lloyd Webber will provide New York City schools with $150,000 toward new musical instruments.
Andrew Lloyd Webber will provide New York City schools with $150,000 toward new musical instruments.
(© David Gordon)

As part of a new initiative called "Rock the Schools," iconic musical theater writer Andrew Lloyd Webber has gifted the City of New York's Fund for Public Schools with $150,000 toward new musical instruments for students. Twenty public middle schools across the city will be able to use these instruments to start music education programs.

"I have been passionate about the importance of music in education ever since I wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for a school nearly 50 years ago," Lloyd Webber said in a statement. "The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has pioneered a scheme in problem public schools in Britain where every child receives a free musical instrument and free music tuition for their entire school career. 3,000 children are now part of this scheme and their academic achievements as a result have been transformed."

With Lloyd Webber’s gift, the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects will identify schools that are prepared to develop a music instruction program and will hire new instrumental music teachers. School leaders must make a three-year commitment to the instrumental music program. The donation of instruments will serve as a catalyst for principals to build out a band or orchestra instruction program for their schools. In addition, the Department of Education believes that new instruments will be an effective way to leverage the hiring of new middle school instrumental music teachers.

Lloyd Webber made the donation in conjunction with the Broadway premiere of his newest musical, School of Rock, beginning performances November 9 at the Winter Garden Theatre in advance of a December 6 opening.

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Closed: January 20, 2019