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Schuyler Achievement Academy receives the gift of music

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 5, 2012) -- The gift was music to the eyes and ears of students at Philip J. Schuyler Achievement Academy.


Fidelity Investments surprised students at the school June 5 when the firm unveiled a donation of new musical instruments valued at $20,000. The donation was part of Fidelity’s ongoing effort to support music programs in public schools across the country.


"We are grateful to Fidelity Investments for this incredible gift of music to our students," said Superintendent Raymond Colucciello, Ed.D., who carried a shiny new alto saxophone into the crowded gymnasium as part of the surprise announcment. "I know these instruments will change the lives of our students."


During a special performance featuring the Schuyler band and orchestra, the students were surprised when the staff of Fidelity’s new Albany Investor Center, joined by Dr. Colucciello and district staff members, marched into the auditorium carrying an assortment of brand new instruments (pictured at right).


The instruments included six violins, a string bass, a cello, three flutes, three clarinets, two trombones and two alto saxophones. The instruments are part of a specific wish list identified by the school to help expand their growing music program.


“Fidelity recognizes the importance of supporting the arts in our local schools and is happy to help programs, like the one here at Schuyler Achievement Academy, provide as many students as possible with opportunities to participate and explore their interest in music,” said Pauline Peterson, vice president and branch manager of Fidelity Investments’ new Albany Investor Center.


Learning to play an instrument can be a valuable learning experience, teaching many life-long skills. We hope these new instruments will help Schuyler bring more music into their classrooms and help ensure a bright future for students here for years to come."


Check out the following media stories to read more:


Students thought they had gathered in the gymnasium to hear a preview of that night's spring concert. But after the orchestra and band each played two selections, Fidelity announced the gift and distributed the instruments to the students. Three Schuyler violinists who received top scores at this spring's New York State School Music Association festival then performed for the group of students, teachers staff and parents (pictured at right).


Fidelity worked with The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to select the Albany school, which serves approximately 350 students from prekindergarten through grade 5. The foundation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to bringing musical instruments to underserved schools and community programs.


Fidelity works closely with the foundation to identify schools to receive instrument donations. The foundation evaluates the instrumental needs of each school music program and then facilitates the purchase and delivery of the instruments.


To date, Fidelity has donated more than 2,000 new instruments, valued at more than $2.2 million, to schools across the country.


“We have a waiting list that is double the number of students enrolled because we have so many who want to participate in the music program,” said Schuyler orchestra director Nan Blaufuss. “This gift will not only ensure more students can participate, but it will help them prepare for middle school.


“Kids learn responsibility by taking care of a good instrument, and they also learn what sounds right, from a musical perspective.”  


Working with some of the world’s most recognized orchestras – including the Boston Pops, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic – Fidelity programs provide unique educational opportunities for students to explore and expand their interests in music. This includes activities such as the donation of new musical instruments, field trips to symphony rehearsals and concerts, classroom workshops by symphony musicians, professional mentoring, music competitions and opportunities for student ensembles to perform on some of world’s most prominent stages.   


Since 2006, Fidelity music and theater arts programs have touched more than 30,000 students representing 195 public schools nationwide.  


About Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $3.7 trillion, including managed assets of $1.6 trillion, as of March 31, 2012.  Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms.  For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit


The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and nurture all students to be responsible citizens, critical thinkers and lifelong learners to successfully compete in the global community by providing an academically rigorous and safe environment in partnership with parents, students and the community. The district serves about 8,700 students in 15 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

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