It goes without saying that the late Eddie Van Halen will continue to influence young musicians for generations to come. And now it’s been revealed that the rock icon left a “transformative” financial contribution to support music education in at-risk public schools via a seven-figure bequest to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.
Prior to his passing in October 2020, the Van Halen guitarist was very involved with Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, supporting the nonprofit for several years and making appearances at a number of the organization’s events. On Wednesday, April 20th, it was announced that the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s will provided for a huge donation to the foundation.
“Eddie’s support and friendship over the years meant the world to us and to his fans. His passion for music and our work created a strong bond, which is evident in his extraordinary bequest,” said Felice Mancini, President and CEO of the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. “To know how much our foundation meant to Eddie is intensely humbling and gratifying to all of us – and we know that Eddie’s family is confident that his powerful legacy and values live on through our efforts.”
Eddie’s charitable efforts are being continued through his son, Wolfgang, who has donated the proceeds from his No. 1 rock single “Distance” to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.
“Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and the work they do for music education was always something that was important to my father,” said Wolfgang. “I am incredibly proud to help facilitate this donation as he wished. Mr. Holland’s Opus are champions for our musicians of the future and it is my privilege to continue supporting that mission and carrying on my pop’s legacy.”
The nonprofit organization was named after the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus, starring Richard Dreyfuss in an Oscar-winning role as a high school teacher who had a profound impact on his students. The foundation, which was started by the late Michael Kamen (the composer who wrote the score for the film), donates high-quality instruments to schools while also providing a number of support services.
Learn more about Eddie Van Halen’s bequest to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation via the nonprofit’s website.
Eddie Van Halen left us all in 2020, but his relationship with MHOF will live on for a very long time. Read about the transformative bequest he made to MHOF in support of music education. We are humbled and deeply grateful to Eddie and his family. https://t.co/xqHLMdN1YG pic.twitter.com/rzlk0cjBib
— The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation (@HollandsOpusFdn) April 20, 2022