The City of Wheeling, West Virginia


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VH-1 Brings Music to Wheeling

VH1 Save The Music Foundation

·         These West Virginia schools are helping to make history here today. 

·         In a special program, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation is partnering with the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and generous funders around the state to bring musical instruments to every middle school in our state.

·         This is the first time that the national music foundation has worked with an entire state.

·         We are – you are – a shining example of how music makes things happen

·         In my own life, music has played an important part as (YOUR THOUGHTS HERE).

·         We owe special thanks today to some important organizations. 

·         First, thank you to the VH1 Save The Music Foundation which conceived and built this program from one school in New York City to schools and school districts around the country.

·         Second, thank you to the Carter Family Foundation here in Raleigh County.  The foundation’s matching grant of $15,000 made this program possible here at Shady Spring Middle School.

·         Third, thank you to West Virginia Division of Culture and History Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith.  He works tirelessly to ensure that the arts grow in West Virginia.  Working with his staff and arts organizations around the state, he sees the possibilities of programs like this one and makes them realities in the Mountain State.



This is the release that we issue to the media last week:


Division of Culture and History continues partnership with VH1 Save The Music Foundation to expand participation in providing new musical instruments to middle schools

Sept. 13, 2011

This fall, students in eleven additional West Virginia public middle schools will have new instruments for their music programs, thanks to an innovative partnership between the national VH1 Save The Music Foundation, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and community-oriented organizations around the state. Each school will receive $30,000 in new Yamaha musical instruments as part of the statewide program.

On September 21, 22, and 23, Rob Davidson, program director for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, will join West Virginia leaders and program partners on a tour of schools around the state that are participating in the program.

“West Virginia is on course to bring musical instruments to every elementary and middle school in our state that has a qualified music teacher,” said Randall Reid-Smith, Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. “Studies show that music education helps develop critical thinking and self-discipline skills and improves early cognitive development. In addition, we hope that our students will develop a lifelong interest in music and other arts as a result of these educational experiences.”

Paul Cothran, executive director and vice president for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, said, “The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is enormously proud and excited about our initiative in West Virginia. The Foundation generally works in partnership with local districts and community leaders to develop a strategic plan to restore instrumental music education for all students within that district. West Virginia is the largest and first statewide effort we have undertaken to ensure, over time, greater access to music education in each of the state’s 55 counties.”

Cothran said the Foundation is delighted to have the commitment of the state leaders and the generous support of local funders which makes this initiative possible and undoubtedly will serve as model for other parts of the nation.

Reid-Smith said the matching partnership program allows interested organizations and individuals to donate $15,000 for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation match. The schools, in turn, complete a comprehensive review of their music programs to demonstrate eligibility for the program.

This year, the schools that benefitted from the program are Bridge Street Middle School, Doddridge County Middle School, Follansbee Middle School, Marlinton Middle School, New Martinsville Middle School, Pendleton Middle School, Pleasants County Middle School, Shady Spring Middle School, Sherrard Middle School, Van Devender Middle School and Wellsburg Middle School.

In the 2009-2010 school year, the schools that received instruments were Capon Bridge Middle School, Davis Thomas Elementary Middle School, Duval PK-8, Guyan Valley Middle School, Harmon School, Hamlin PK-8, Gilbert Elementary School and Kermit K-8.

Any traditional West Virginia public elementary or middle school that has a certified music teacher and wants to build its instrumental music program may qualify for a VH1 Save The Music Foundation grant, according to Reid-Smith. “We hope to see programs in every county of the state within the next few years,” he said. “Having this opportunity is a wonderful way to strengthen our state’s arts focus as we introduce our youth to the pleasures of music in all of its many forms.”

The VH1 Save the Music Foundation presentation schedule is

Wednesday, September 21st
7:45 am          Follansbee Middle School, Follansbee                        
8:30 am          Wellsburg Middle School, Wellsburg                         
9:30 am          Bridge Street Middle School, Wheeling                 
10:15 am        Sherrard Middle School, Wheeling                           
12:00 pm        New Martinsville School, New Martinsville            
1:30 pm          Pleasants County Middle School, Belmont            
2:45 pm          Van Devender Middle School, Parkersburg
Thursday, September 22nd
8:00 am          Doddridge County Middle School, West Union                         
10:30 am        Harman Elementary, Harman                              
12:00 pm        Pendleton County Middle School, Franklin                        
2:00 pm          Marlinton Middle School, Buckeye
Friday, September 23rd
8:00 am          Shady Spring Middle School, Shady Spring       
10:15 am        Duval PK – 8, Griffithsville                    
11:15 am        Hamlin PK – 8, Hamlin                
1:15 pm          Guyan Valley Middle School, Branchland     

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

About VH1 Save The Music Foundation

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. To date, VH1 Save The Music has provided more than $45 million in new musical instruments to 1,700 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country, impacting the lives of more than 1.4 million children. The Foundation’s renewed commitment to donate $100 million worth of new musical instruments to ensure that even a greater number of students receive a comprehensive music education in the coming decade. Get involved and learn more at <>.

Contacts for VH1 Save The Music Foundation
Nick Carcaterra/Susan Blond, Inc. for VH1 Save The Music Foundation
212.333.7728 ext.126




These are the schools along with their names/school colors and sponsoring agencies

Wellsburg Middle School – Orange Knights – Chesapeake Energy (Orange and Black)

Follansbee Middle School – Blue Wave – Chesapeake Energy (Blue and White)

Bridge Street Middle School – Red Devils – Chesapeake Energy (Red and Black)

Sherrard Middle School – Rams – Chesapeake Energy (Red and White)

New Martinsville Middle School – Eagles – Chesapeake Energy (Blue and Gold)

Pleasants County Middle School – Minutemen – The Clay Center (Red, White and Blue)

Vandevender Middle School – Blue Devils – Sam and Sandi Winans in honor of Jim and Frances Winans and Russell and Garnet Kerns (Blue and White)

Doddridge County Middle School – Bobcats – Wincore (Black, White and Silver)

Shady Spring Middle School – Shady Tigers – Carter Family Foundation (Blue and Gold)

Pendleton County – Wildcats – West Virginia Commission on the Arts (Carolina Blue, Navy and White)

Harman School – Panthers – WVDCH (Red and Black)

Duval Middle School – Yellow Jackets – WVDCH – (Orange and Black)

Hamlin Middle School – Bobcats – WVDCH (Blue and Gold)

Guyan Valley Middle School – Lions – WVDCH (Blue and Gold)

Capon Bridge Middle School – Bobcats – WVDCH (Black and Orange)

Gilbert Middle School – Lions – WVDCH (Purple and White)

Kermit Area School – Blue Devils -- WVDCH (Blue and White)

Marlinton Middle School – Copperheads – WVDCH (Orange and Black)

Davis Thomas Elementary Middle School – Bears – WVDCH (Royal Blue and Gold)


From the region’s largest trail system, to national schools of excellence, to a reorganized municipal government, the City of Wheeling offers a dynamic environment for you, your family and your business. There are many features that are unique to this area and we are proud of them! Our businesses enjoy the business climate as well with our advanced, motivated work force. The work force also enjoys being active in our various professional organizations. The area boasts year-round entertainment, leisure, sports, music, festivals, dining, shopping, and much more.

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