Barry Manilow Shines at the Palace, Supports Pontiac Music Program

mbrew brought to you by top adBarry Manilow Shines at the Detroit_GT_05Palace, Supports Pontiac Music Program

By Cheryl Weiss

“It takes that one voice
And everyone will sing”

One Voice, Barry Manilow

Superstar Barry Manilow recently performed his “One Last Time” concert at the Palace in Auburn Hills, but he is leaving a lasting musical legacy for students in the Pontiac School District.

HowesLocationOn February 15th, 2015, Manilow performed many of his biggest hits over the last forty years, from “Mandy”, his first hit single, to “And They Danced” and “Do You Know Who’s Living Next Door?”, songs based on his early life in the Mayflower apartment building in Brooklyn, to fan favorites “Even Now”, “Copacabana”, and “Looks Like We Made It.” Manilow’s fans, or “Fanilows”, stood and sang along to “Can’t Smile Without You”, and one lucky woman was invited to dance with him on stage during “Moonlight Serenade”. Memories, smiles, music, and waving glow sticks filled the Palace with each song during Manilow’s 90-minute show. The show ended with a release of streamers throughout the arena; a last celebration.

According to Manilow, this is his last major concert tour. After 40 years, he wants to travel less although he has no plans to retire. He will continue to write new songs and make new albums, lisa schmidt lawbut limit travel to just a few cities after an album release rather than months-long tours.

Manilow has now left the Palace, but he is leaving a gift to students in the Pontiac School District. Pontiac has been chosen as a recipient of the Manilow Music Project, which provides new and gently used musical instruments to students who need them. Beginning in early February, anyone who donated a musical instrument received two free tickets to the concert. Instruments were collected through the day of his concert, and Manilow kicked off the donations with a Yamaha piano. “We are honored and delighted to be the recipient of such generosity from the Manilow Music Project,” said Kelley Williams, Superintendent of Pontiac Candlewickshop_May2014School District. “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.”

The Manilow Music Project (MMP) is part of The Manilow Fund for Health and Hope. Its primary focus is to provide musical instruments to high schools and middle schools and to provide music scholarships at universities throughout the US, Canada, and the UK. Since 2008, over 70 schools have received instruments from the MMP.

Manilow shared his thoughts about the MMP with the audience Sunday night. “I keep saying that I think musical training, musical instruments is so important to a young person’s life…I talk to principals in schools and I speak to the teachers and they always tell me that in music classesseed013_larry_and_monica_mills, kids’ grades go up, they become better students, they learn how to interact…they’re running out of instruments in schools all over the country; I had to do something. . I think that music will change a young person’s life…like it did mine,”

According to a story written by Manilow on, he was raised by his mother and grandparents in a small apartment in Brooklyn; his father left when Manilow was an infant. However, when he was thirteen years old, his mother married a man named Willie Murphy. That changed Manilow’s life. Murphy brought music into their home, with a wide variety of record albums, music Manilow had never heard before.   His family realized that Judy_Palmer30yearsManilow had a talent for music, and rented an accordion for him to learn to play. He learned quickly, and his mother and stepfather eventually saved enough money to buy him a spinet piano and weekly piano lessons. Those musical experiences changed his life, and brought him success that he had not even imagined as a child.

Perhaps through the generosity of his MMP along with the community’s donations, putting these musical instruments in the hands of students in the Pontiac School District will lead to many more dreams come true for young people who love music, as it did for Barry Manilow.

Your actions and words are always, always having an impact on another person—especially children”.
—Barry Manilow

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