In an age when school districts are slashing music and theater programs, celebrities and artists are striving to help fill the gap.

For the past several years award winning entertainer Barry Manilow has aided school music programs with his Manilow Music Project by presenting a new piano to a school in each city where he performed.

Manilow’s most recent initiative was to invite high schools to compete for a $100,000 prize in new instruments and uniforms by submitting a video describing why their school deserves to win.

After nearly 100 entries, Manilow selected the East Duplin High School in Beulaville, North Carolina as the winner.

But Manilow had an even bigger surprise in mind for the schools who entered the contest and awarded prizes totaling $55,000 to five runner ups – Orange Glen High School in Escondido, CA, Wasilla High School in Wasilla, AK, Sunbright High School in Sunbright, TN, Sioux City Schools in Sioux City, IA, and Terryville Hight School in Plymouth, CT.

Speaking on the contest, Manilow said, “it gives me such joy to be able to give these kids the gift of music.”

To date, Manilow has donated over $10 million worth of instruments and scholarships via his Manilow Music Project.

manilowmusicproject.org