The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOF), a non-profit organization that supports music education programs in schools across the country, honored five outstanding teachers at the 5th Annual MHOF Teacher Awards, held recently at Carnegie Hall in New York City. BMI’s Doreen Ringer Ross, who serves as MHOF Board president, was on hand at the event, which recognizes music teachers who best demonstrate the spirit and dedication of “Mr. Holland” portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss in the 1995 hit movie, Mr. Holland’s Opus. BMI songwriter and recording artist Michael Bolton presented the $10,000 awards.
Winners were chosen by a special selection committee formed by the Foundation on the following criteria: instilling a love of music in their students through instrumental music instruction in grades K-12; having the passion, dedication and leadership skills to persevere under difficult circumstances; giving generously of their time, energy and talent, and exceeding what is expected of music educators; demonstrating creativity regardless of availability of instruments, materials, classroom space and budget limitations; inspiring students and challenging them to attain the highest level of musicianship; and encouraging musical growth through ongoing individual and group performance, auditions and evaluations.
Founded in 1996 by the film’s composer, the late Michael Kamen, the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation supports music education and its many benefits through the donation and repair of musical instruments to under-served schools, community music programs