Seventy-six trombones led the big parade. Well, not exactly. But for Daggett Middle School two trombones, two French horns, three trumpets, and four euphoniums will do nicely, thank you. The Fort Worth school has just received these instruments — $10,000 worth — as a gift from Fidelity Investments through the California-based Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation established following the successful 1995 movie of the same name that celebrated music in the public schools. It is the only school in the district to receive the award this year, according to schools spokesperson Barbara Griffith.

Sixty students are now enrolled in the school’s popular band program and director Alejandro Story said he expects “half the school” to be in the band in two years. This is another encouraging sign that school districts have once again come to appreciate the value of music in a child’s life and education. Like art and P.E., music often took a hit in the Fort Worth schools — and indeed in schools across the country —when budgets were tight. Now, in no small measure thanks to Mr. Holland, those days seem to be over. Pity that administrators and school boards had to be reminded of that fact by Hollywood.


You can hear the “beautiful noise” of the new instruments, Griffith said, by going to