HICKSVILLE, N.Y., April 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sam Ash Music, the nation's leading full-line retail music chain, is grateful to the many participants who donated more than 3,000 instruments in the inaugural WQXR Instrument Drive. The generosity of local donors ensures that more New York City public school students will have a chance to earn an education in music, and gives new life and purpose to underused instruments.
Championed by Paul Ash, the president of Sam Ash Music who passed in February, the WQXR Instrument Drive initially aimed to collect 1,000 instruments, repair them, and put them into the hands of underprivileged students in New York City schools. Donors were encouraged to bring their used instruments to various drop-off sites in the New York metropolitan area.
"It soon became clear that our goal would be met on the first weekend of the drive," said Eric Guido, operations manager at Sam Ash Music. "Now we move to the next phase — to appraise, repair and refurbish the instruments in time to hand them over to the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation in September."
The drive kicked off on a high note with an open flute jam led by Sir James Galway at the Sam Ash Music store at 333 West 34th Street in Manhattan. Galway was joined by notable musicians including Lady Jeanne Galway (who purchased her first two flutes from the Huntington, N.Y., Sam Ash Music Store), Carol Wincenc, and Magee Hickey, anchorwoman of WPIX news and an accomplished flautist herself. Elliot Forrest of WQXR acted as master of ceremonies. Flautists were encouraged to download free sheet music and bring it with them — along with their flute and any instruments they cared to donate — to the store to participate in an informal flute-a-palooza. Several Ash Family members were on hand to greet the participants personally.
"We didn't know how much this event would inspire people," said Sammy Ash, COO of Sam Ash Music. "The Melvin family of Whippany New Jersey dropped off 90 musical instruments owned by their late father Stephen. And that's just one of so many stories we heard. This drive was started by WQXR and my uncle Paul. I know he would have been very proud of its success."
Other instruments donated to the cause included violins, violas, cellos, guitars, drums and keyboards, as well as a variety of rare and unusual instruments.
"We are proud to play a part in helping New York City schoolchildren learn to create their own music," said David Ash, CEO of Sam Ash Music. "Music is a very important part of a well-rounded education."
For more information on the WQXR Instrument Drive, visit:
Sam Ash Music is America's leading full-line retail music chain, featuring superstores in major markets across the country and Sam Ash Direct, the company's one-stop musician's website at samash.com. For over 90 years, professional musicians, songwriters, recording engineers, DJs, hobbyists, and students have turned to Sam Ash when shopping for music, sound, and recording gear from the world's top manufacturers. The family owned and operated business opened in 1924 with a small store in Brooklyn, N.Y., and now operates more than 45 stores. For more information, please visit: www.samashmusic.com or www.samash.com.
Chief Operations Officer
Sam Ash Music Corporation
278 Duffy Avenue
Hicksville, NY 11801
Phone: (516) 686-4104
SOURCE Sam Ash Music Corp.