North Carolina

Barry Manilow gives $100,000 to band at NC high school still suffering from hurricane

Barry Manilow gave a North Carolina high school band $100,000
Barry Manilow gave a North Carolina high school band $100,000 Screen grab/Youtube

A North Carolina high school band needed help.

The band at East Duplin High School couldn’t afford instrument upgrades, was using uniforms that were 24 years old, and is in an area where many families are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, according to WCTI.

So the band made a video explaining its situation and submitted it to a nationwide contest put on by the Manilow Music Project, according to the high school.

High school bands from across the country submitted videos explaining why they were in need of money for new instruments and uniforms, according to the project.

Community involvement, need and online votes were all influencing factors, but Barry Manilow, the founder of the project, decided who won, the project’s website said.

On Wednesday he announced the five winners in Las Vegas.

East Duplin took home first place and $100,000 for new instruments and uniforms.

“Thank you for your passion, your heart and your talent,” Manilow said to the band when he announced it won.

Thomas Seaman, the band director, said in a statement that he is in awe of the support.

“I really cannot express my gratitude, with sufficient grace and appreciation, to all of those who have helped with this project,” he said. “From the students who put together our video, the parents who got the word out to local news outlets, the teachers who had their classes voting daily and the greater areas of Duplin and Onslow Counties, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Matt Minick, who has led the Cary High School Marching Band since 2000, discusses what it took to get his students to New York for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade last year.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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