Barry Manilow wants to put some musical instruments in the hands of Pontiac School District children.
The Grammy Award-winning hitmaker is using his Feb. 15 show at the Palace of Auburn Hills as part of his Manilow Music Project Drive to help offset cuts to music programs in public schools. Anyone bringing a new or gently used musical instrument to the Palace box office will receive two free tickets for the show, with the donations going to Pontiac school.
Manilow -- whose No. 1 hits include "Mandy," "I Write the Songs" and "Looks Like We Made It" -- is also donating a Yamaha piano to the district.
"I've been doing this for years," Manilow said on Tuesday, Feb. 3. "When I realized that the schools were running out of instruments or the instruments they had were broke down or they were cutting music classes, I just said, 'I've got to do something.'
"I'm just trying to make the public aware of the fact that this is a problem, that they're running out of instruments and how important it is for kids to have music in their lives. Every time I speak to teachers or principals, they always tell me the kids' grades go up, they learn how to interact with other kids. It's a life-changing thing, and even if they never become a professional it will never leave them and they become better people from it."
Pontiac schools superintendent Kelley Williams said in a statement that, "We are honored and delighted to be the recipient of such generosity from the Manilow Music Project. Music promotes learning and enriches the lives of our youth and we are very appreciative to be able to share this gift with our students."
Manilow's show is part of his One Last Time! Tour, which he says will be the last of his extensive tours.
For more information call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.