Not only does he “write the songs that make the whole world sing,” but he’s giving them instruments too. Legendary singer/songwriter Barry Manilow is putting instruments in the hands of students in the Clark County School District with his non-profit organization, the Manilow Music Project (MMP). Through the MMP guests who bring a new or gently used musical instrument to the Paris Theater will receive a voucher to see Manilow’s new show at Paris Las Vegas for the performance date of their choice. Donations are being accepted now through October when Manilow will present the school district with the donated instruments.
The MMP is part of The Manilow Fund for Health and Hope and was formed in response to the needs of public schools and their depleted music programs. MMP aids music programs around the country by donating instruments and materials to facilitate music education.
VEGAS.com had a chance to sit down with the music superstar to talk about his new show and why music is such an important part of the everyday curriculum for students.
“Music classes are not just play time,” says Manilow. “Music classes make these kids, from what I heard, their grades go up, they become better people, they know how to interact with other children and most important, what I was told is that if you don’t have music classes, they won’t come back to school. They’ll drop out, and that’s what really got me,” said Manilow.
Before opening his show at Paris in March 2010, Manilow wowed audiences as a headliner at the Las Vegas Hilton for five years. In his new show, Manilow performs with a live band and four back-up singers and dancers in an intimate 1,500-seat theater.
“At the Hilton we did a little production, but at the Paris we really blew it up. I hired a guy named Jeffery Hornaday, a brilliant, brilliant director and the two of us created a real production, and that’s what’s here at Paris Las Vegas,” said Manilow.
With more than 80 million records sold worldwide and a career spanning more than 35 years, Manilow is a music icon, but he just considers himself another guy in the band.
“I am just a lucky musician. I am one of the guys that just got lucky,” said Manilow.