Does it seem like the great rock musicians are turning out to be mortal after all?
It seems, however, that a few leave a legacy beyond their own playlist.
So it is with Eddie Van Halen.
Besides his mastery of the electric guitar <understatement>, Van Halen wanted to pay his gift of music forward.
Enter the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.
What is it?
A nonprofit supporting music education in at-risk public schools.
So, why is it in the news?
It seems the late, great, Eddie Van Halen made a “transformative donation” to the foundation.
According to a recent MSN article titled “Eddie Van Halen left a huge donation in his will to support music education for kids”, there is more to the story.
It seems before his death in October 2020, Van Halen already had been supporting the foundation over the years.
He not only made numerous appearances at foundation events, but also took part in various hands-on opportunities to help teach music to children.
As part of his last will, Van Halen made a considerable postmortem donation that will have a profound effect on the foundation for many years.
The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation was inspired by the movie titled Mr. Holland’s Opus.
It is the story of the profound effect a dedicated music teacher had on generations of students.
Michael Kamen wrote the score for the film.
He later started the foundation in 1996, as his own commitment to the future of music education.
The foundation says Van Halen’s donation “will enable MHOF to fulfill requests from a greater number of schools, add employees to its staff, improve the foundation’s technology and more.”
“Eddie’s support and friendship over the years meant the world to us and to his fans. His passion for music and our work created a strong bond, which is evident in his extraordinary bequest,” Felice Mancini, President and CEO of MHOF said in a statement.
“To know how much our foundation meant to Eddie is intensely humbling and gratifying to all of us – and we know that Eddie’s family is confident that his powerful legacy and values live on through our efforts.”
Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, will continue the family’s involvement and support of the organization.
He has donated proceeds from his single “Distance” to the foundation in support of school music programs across the country and as a dedication to his father.
“Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and the work they do for music education was always something that was important to my father,” Van Halen said in a statement. “I am incredibly proud to help facilitate this donation as he wished. Mr. Holland’s Opus are champions for our musicians of the future, and it is my privilege to continue supporting that mission and carrying on my pop’s legacy.”
What a heartwarming story.
Especially these days.
Too often stories we hear about celebrities focus on selfish, self-centered, and self-destructive behavior.
Thank you Eddie Van Halen, Wolfgang and the Van Halen Family, and MHOF for making my day in a good way.
Reference: MSN (April 21, 2022) “Eddie Van Halen left a huge donation in his will to support music education for kids”