APRIL 8 I SAM ASH I PHILANTHROPY
WQXR, Sam Ash Collect
Over 2,500 Instruments
Sam Ash Music lent nine stores around the New York region as drop-off locations for New York classical music radio station WQXR's 10-day instrument drive. The drive, which ended April 7, collected more than 2,500 instruments for under-resourced school music programs, far surpassing its original goal of 1,000.
The drive was a partnership between the station, Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and Sam Ash Music, which kicked off the drive with a jam session with master flutists James and Jeanne Galway at its 34th St. store in Manhattan. Sam Ash is also repairing and refurbishing the donated instruments at a reduced rate throughout the summer.
David Ash, CEO of Sam Ash Music, said the company had been working for years with Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation and when the opportunity to be part of the WQXR drive came up it was a natural fit to participate.
"Our company has always supported music education and that fits with providing music to underprivileged children," Ash said. "We've always tried to bring value in music to everyone. There are some people who can't afford even the lowest priced instruments so this brings music to them."
Along with crediting operations manager Eric Guido, David Ash said it was his late uncle, Paul Ash, who passed away last February, who kickstarted company's involvement.
"He really spearheaded it and made the arrangements to do it," David Ash said.
The drive garnered mainstream media attention. NJ.com wrote about a woman who donated her late husband's collection of 75 instruments, New York Times music critic Zachary Woolfe explained why he gave up his cello and Forbes contributor Deborah Jacobs wrote about passing on a family heirloom.
The station and Sam Ash plan to do another drive next year.