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DHL Donation Supports Commitment To Preserving New Orleans’s Musical Heritage


$25,000 in Musical Instruments to Help Establish New Marching Band

Plantation, Fla. -- April 26, 2006, DHL, the global leader in express delivery and logistics, will deliver $25,000 worth of musical instruments to the Sophie B. Wright Charter School in New Orleans on Thursday, April 27. The musical instruments have been donated by DHL and the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which supports music education through the donation of new and refurbished musical instruments to underserved schools, community music programs and individual students nationwide.

In an effort to re-establish a strong musical connection between the rich New Orleans music heritage and area schools, Paul Batiste, band director at Sophie B. Wright Charter School, has worked tirelessly to create the school’s first marching band program. The school bounced back quickly from the significant damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina, and in the aftermath, interest in the marching band program has peaked. Enrollment has already reached 50 students, but with only 15 instruments currently available to students for practice, the school was in need of additional resources to supplement its musical education program.

“At DHL, we are proud of the work we have done to help the recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and expect that DHL’s delivery of instruments will bring smiles to the faces of many students at Sophie B. Wright Charter School,” said Kelly Keogh, DHL director of corporate citizenship. “Donating the musical instruments for the school’s marching band is a fitting example of DHL’s commitment to preserving the musical heritage of New Orleans and of our corporate social responsibility to continuing the relief efforts begun in 2005,” added Keogh.

In coordinating the special delivery, DHL worked closely with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to identify and purchase the instruments based on the specific needs of the school. On Thursday April 27, the three hundred fourth through eighth grade students at the Sophie B. Wright Charter School will welcome the special DHL delivery of 43 new and refurbished musical instruments for the school’s marching band program, transported at no cost by DHL from Sherman Oaks, Calif.:

- 8 flutes
- 8 clarinets
- 2 alto saxophones
- 2 tenor saxophones
- 1 baritone saxophone
- 10 trumpets
- 8 trombones
- 4 marching bass drums with carriers

“Since we heard about the instruments being donated by DHL and Mr.Holland’s Opus Foundation, the students at our school have been overcome with excitement,” Batiste said. "Our students have endured Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, but this musical gift has brought them
unexpected joy. This donation will make a huge difference to these students -- not just in their musical education, but in their lives" he added.

With the much-needed instruments on the way, Batiste has set his sights on a first-ever performance for the Sophie B. Wright Charter School marching band in next year’s Mardi Gras celebrations, showcasing the resurgence of New Orleans musical traditions.

DHL’s special delivery of musical instruments to the Sophie B. Wright Charter School is the first in a series of events supporting the company’s “Dedicated to Helping Louisiana” (DHL) initiative, an extension of its corporate citizenship relief and recovery efforts to help the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. For more information on DHL’s “Dedicated to Helping Louisiana” initiative, visit the DHL Jazz Quest website at

About DHL

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