The Snowman Foundation’s Play it Forward initiative joined forces with businesses and community members from Portland, Oregon to help Kingwood High School replace instruments lost during Hurricane Harvey.
“We were moved by the news reports and wanted to do something. There was so much damage in Kingwood that there was a concern that instruments would be the last thing replaced with all the devastation,” said Marietta Harrison, Executive Director of Play It Forward.
Immediately after hearing of the need, the Foundation took action. Play It Forward conducted an instrument drive and two fundraising concerts.
“The fundraising efforts were a total success. We were able to donate about $180,000worth of instruments and made a cash donation of $5,000 to Kingwood High School,” said Michael Allen Harrison, who traveled from Portland Oregon to bring the good news and deliver the instruments.
On Wednesday, January 24, pianos and other orchestra instruments arrived at Kingwood High School thanks to this effort. According to Houston Hays, Fine Arts Director, it was a very emotional moment. “It was very overwhelming to see the outpouring of support from Play it Forward. It really hit me when they started wheeling the pianos in, that these were the first instruments to be put back into KHS. Pianos are the bedrock of any performing arts program and the fact they arrived and were in place was very emotional,” said Hayes.
It was a touching moment for everyone present during the delivery, including our Portland friends. “I had the best time connecting with great teachers in the music and theater programs. I was impressed with the dedication and appetite for excellence. To me it is important to keep instruments and music in the hands and hearts of those kids you are guiding and nurturing. Some will go on to be professionals’; others will enjoy their skills for the rest of their lives. All of them will have had the great experience of learning and sharing music together, create memories, build confidence, build community and will be great citizens for the future,” said Harrison.
Thanks to this donation, Kingwood High School students will have a secure set of instruments when they get back to their campus on March 19th. “Words cannot describe the debt of gratitude that we have for the wonderful people at Play it Forward. They reached out to us, listened to our concerns and needs, and executed a plan of action completely on their own and out of the kindness of their hearts. The impact of their actions will be felt for many years to come,” concluded Hayes.