NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Casio America, Inc., a leading electronic musical instrument manufacturer, opened up Summer NAMM 2015 with an exclusive music education event at W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville, TN. Casio and the W.O. Smith Music School joined forces to focus on the importance of fostering and developing young minds and future musicians, while also recognizing those who have made a significant impact on local and national music education initiatives.
The local event kicked off with a reception followed by a formal presentation from Casio executives and W.O. Smith Music School representatives. During the event, Casio presented Joe Lamond, president and CEO of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), with its 'Leadership in Music Education Award.' As the first ever recipient of the award, Lamond was recognized for his steadfast dedication and many contributions to fostering the growth of music education. Under Lamond's leadership the NAMM Foundation has funded ground-breaking music brain research projects, allocated $15 million in support to music-making programs and become a leading voice for music education worldwide.
In addition, Casio presented the W.O. Smith Music School with a 100 piece product donation including WK-225, Privia PX-5S and PX-150 keyboards, a WX-P1 synthesizer and corresponding stands, adapters, pedals and travel bags. The donated instruments will be used by the W.O. Smith Music School to guide students' musical talents in and out of the classroom. The event concluded with musical performances from the W.O. Smith Music School students.
"For decades, Casio has been committed to making a difference in and fostering music education, which is why we are so proud to announce our partnership with the W.O. Smith Music School," Stephen Schmidt, vice president of Casio's Electronic Musical Instrument Division, said. "At our event in 'Music City', we discussed the importance of music education and provided the next generation of musicians with all the essential tools to help them embrace their passion for playing music."
The W.O. Smith Music School makes affordable, quality music instruction available to children from low-income families in Nashville. The founder, W.O. Smith, was the professor of music at Tennessee State University, a member of the Nashville Symphony and a noted jazz bassist, and he had a dream to change the lives of underprivileged children through musical instruction. His dream became a reality when the W.O. Smith Music School opened its doors in 1984. Since the opening, the school has grown to develop classes, private lessons and summer camps to more than 650 students and has introduced thousands of interested and deserving children to the world of music.
"At W.O. Smith Music School, our mission is to transform lives through music and we feel that Casio embodies that statement with their continuous involvement and support of music education," Jonah Rabinowitz, Executive Director of W.O. Smith Music School, said. "We are excited to be working with Casio and that we had the opportunity to host this amazing event to celebrate our students."