It was in orchestra class many, many years ago that Barry Manilow realized what he wanted to do with his life.
Manilow told ABC 4 Utah, "I came from the slums of Brooklyn with no money. I don't know where I was going or what I was going to do and I joined the orchestra and I felt grounded."
After selling 80 million records worldwide, Manilow he knows music can change a kids life. That’s why he started the Manilow Music Project.
“We get brand new instruments into the hands of kids that are either running out of instruments or don't have any,” explained Manilow.
Then two years ago they had a great idea to get instruments donated. For every instrument donated the person would get two tickets to the show and the local school district would get the instruments. Since Barry is playing at the maverick Center this July his people called the Granite School District.
Granite School District Spokesperson Ben Horsley said, "It came from Stiletto Entertainment out of Las Vegas and we were a little leery of that at first, but we're obviously very excited about the opportunity."
With 67,000 students in the Granite School District, Horsley says the need is great.
"We have a lot of interest in our music programs and so I don't think it will be difficult to find those kids who have those types of needs,” said Horsley.
The Manilow Project, on average, collects about 100 instruments at every stop and in every city Barry hears the same things from those schools that benefit.
"They always tell me the kids in music classes, their grades go up and they learn how to interact with other students. They become better people,” said Manilow. “I don't know what I would have become of me if I didn't have orchestra class back in Brooklyn, NY all those years ago."
You can drop off your donated instruments and pick up your free tickets at the Maverik Center from now through July 12th from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tickets are available online at Manliow.com or Ticketmaster.com and in person at the Maverik Center or by calling 1-800-745-3000.