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Andrew Lloyd Webber Donates $150 Million for NYC Music Programs

Andrew Lloyd Webber Donates $150 Million for NYC Music Programs

Iconic Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has donated $150,000 to the City of New York’s Fund for Public Schools as part of a new initiative called “Rock the Schools,” according to website TheaterMania.com. The money will be used to purchase new musical instruments, which will be distributed to 20 public middle schools across the city to start music education programs.

The donation comes as Lloyd Webber’s latest production, School of Rock – The Musical, based on the 2003 movie, is set to open on Broadway in December.  

"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 the gift, the New York City Department of Education's Office of Arts and Special Projects will choose schools ready to develop a music instruction program. These schools must make a three-year commitment to an instrumental music program, as well as hire new instrumental music teachers.

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To further prove his commitment to music education, Lloyd Webber, along with the licensing company R&H Theatricals, announced on Oct. 12 that they’re granting rights for U.S. and Canadian youth productions to perform School of Rock – The Musical, according to website BroadwayWorld.com.

"This musical is entirely about empowering kids to rock out, so what better way to herald its arrival and celebrate its themes than to allow youth performances from coast-to-coast," Lloyd Webber said about the announcement. "This will allow young fans to engage with the material in a much deeper way, and we think will only heighten enthusiasm for our Broadway premiere." 

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