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Metroplex Piano, Yamaha and Carter Albrecht Music Foundation Donate Portable Keyboards For Students In Need

Mike Lawson • Commentary • February 24, 2015

(L-R): Ken Albrecht, founder of the Carter Albrecht Music Foundation, Johnny Harris, store manager Metroplex Piano Dallas, Judy Albrecht, Founder CAMF, Salah Boukadoum, board member CAMF and Founder and CEO of Good Returns, Karen Harkey, Director at Choice Leadersihp Academy, Janis Evans, Trumpets4Kids board member, Freddie Jones, Founder and Artistic Director of Trumpets4Kids, Lynn Nikaidoh, supporter of CAMF. At the keyboard: Maphios Mekbeb-Gillette, student at Choice Leadership Academy.

(L-R): Ken Albrecht, founder of the Carter Albrecht Music Foundation, Johnny Harris, store manager Metroplex Piano Dallas, Judy Albrecht, Founder CAMF, Salah Boukadoum, board member CAMF and Founder and CEO of Good Returns, Karen Harkey, Director at Choice Leadersihp Academy, Janis Evans, Trumpets4Kids board member, Freddie Jones, Founder and Artistic Director of Trumpets4Kids, Lynn Nikaidoh, supporter of CAMF. At the keyboard: Maphios Mekbeb-Gillette, student at Choice Leadership Academy.

Celebrity Trumpet Player Freddie Jones Announces Donation of Digital Keyboards to Trumpets4Kids.

DALLAS (Feb. 17, 2015)—Hundreds of young musicians in local music programs who likely wouldn’t have access to music education and instruments on their own received a major boost today, as five new Yamaha keyboards were donated to Trumpets4Kids, a non-profit that offers music as a means of education and empowerment to young people in need in the Dallas area.

The Yamaha P-105 digital pianos, provided by Darren Speir, president of Metroplex Piano serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the Carter Albrecht Music Foundation and Yamaha Corporation of America, were presented to music directors and youngsters participating in Trumpets4Kids.

In addition to being used for instruction and performances in area music programs affiliated with Trumpets4Kids, the new keyboards will be used by brass students from all over the Metroplex to compete at the third annual Trumpet Wars at Texas Wesleyan University scheduled for March 7.

“These keyboards are a tremendous donation, because they will enable hundreds of young people in our area to enjoy the gift of music,” said Freddie Jones, a popular jazz trumpet player and composer in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex who founded Trumpets4Kids. “Young people who might not have access to musical instruments and music education will now have a chance to explore the joy of learning and playing music on these keyboards, and that will hopefully spark a lifelong passion for music in each of them.”

Since it was launched in 2007, Trumpets4Kids has provided free musical instruments for young people who demonstrate a financial need and pledge to practice one hour a day, maintain the instrument and perform for other kids, many who are homeless, hospitalized or in at-risk situations. 

Jones, a well-known musician in the area for his work with kids as well as his musical talents, including his performances of the National Anthem at Dallas Cowboys home games, saw the need this year for five keyboards that could be used by his music students as well as hundreds of other underserved young people in the Dallas Metroplex area. After applying for a grant from the Carter Albrecht Music Foundation, which agreed to donate two new keyboards, one of the foundation’s board members, Salah Boukadoum, reached out to Darren Speir, an owner of Metroplex Piano, about the possibility of buying the remaining three keyboards at wholesale. Speir, however, partnered with Yamaha Corporation of America to donate the three Yamaha P-105 portable digital pianos. 

“Part of our mission at Metroplex Piano is to continue to voice the value of music in our children’s lives,” Speir explained. “Trumpets4Kids is squarely focused on this same initiative and we are happy to support in any way we can.”

The Carter Albrecht Music Foundation, dedicated to the growth and betterment of music in Dallas by offering assistance in education, developing skills and improving the quality of life of the area’s musicians, regularly provides instruments, funds, scholarship and other support for musicians and music-focused initiatives. 

“The board of the foundation felt this was an excellent opportunity to help Trumpets4Kids expand its reach in bringing music and music education to so many young people who can really use music in their lives,” said Boukadoum. “Not only do young people benefit from learning music through Trumpets4Kids, but then the program teaches them to pass along that gift of music to others, including kids going through some tough times of their own.”

Bob Heller, national sales director for Yamaha’s Keyboard Division, said Yamaha was eager to help make the donation a reality upon hearing from Darren Speir of Metroplex Piano. “Learning to play music and developing a love of music has so many benefits for young people, so we jumped at the chance to help,” Heller said. “The five Yamaha P-105 digital pianos will hopefully add to the incredible work being done for young people by Trumpets4Kids.”

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