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Manilow toots LAUSD's horn

October 28, 2009|Gerrick D. Kennedy

As arts programs in schools across the country shrink, Barry Manilow is making certain that music students in the Los Angeles Unified School District will be able to perform with new instruments.

Manilow announced to a cheering audience at his concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday that he was donating $100,000 to the district for new band instruments, said Monica Carazo, spokesperson for LAUSD.

"It will be used for all kinds of instruments, whatever the needs are," Carazo said Tuesday. "From saxophones to flutes, hopefully this money will be able to help us with that."

Steven McCarthy, secondary arts coordinator for the district, said the donation couldn't have come at a better time.

"Things are just deteriorating," McCarthy said. "It's very personal to him. He said on the stage if it wasn't for music and having an instrument in his hand, he wouldn't have finished school."

The donation, part of his Manilow Music Project, came from money raised at a pre-concert gala, said Howard Bragman, Manilow's publicist.

Bragman said this was an ongoing effort for the 66-year-old pop star. Earlier this year, he gave $500,000 to schools in the Palm Springs area and $36,000 to pay for violins for two schools in Washington.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

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