2013-05-24 / Community

Waterside School Gets Guitars

By Dan Guarino


Children of Waterside Studio School gather around to try some of the 20 guitars donated by Fender, KMCMusicorp and Sam Ash. Children of Waterside Studio School gather around to try some of the 20 guitars donated by Fender, KMCMusicorp and Sam Ash. More than 180 excited students gathered in the PS 317Q Waterside Children’s Studio School auditorium on Wednesday morning, May 1st, for a very special presentation. Fender Musical Instruments, KMCMusicorp and music retailer Sam Ash presented 20 guitars plus accessories to the school’s successful music program.

The student-size instruments were a welcome gift to the school, which had been damaged in the hurricane. The classical guitars will allow Waterside to rebuild their music program.

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall was on hand to commemorate the special occasion.

Noting the timing of the occasion, she said, “Today’s event takes place just two days after the six month anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Good-bye, Sandy!”


Queens Borough President Helen Marshall looks on as Waterside student Olivia Remert performs an original song. Music teacher Gary Heimbauer backs her on one of the brand-new guitars donated to the school. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall looks on as Waterside student Olivia Remert performs an original song. Music teacher Gary Heimbauer backs her on one of the brand-new guitars donated to the school. Speaking to the benefits of having these instruments in young people’s hands, she added “Having music in their lives will make them happier.”

“I love guitars. We love guitars. And these guitars are just your size,” said Sam Ash, senior vice president of Sam Ash Music Stores and grandson of the chain’s founder.

“We’re very proud to be a partner in this.”

The group also donated five guitars to the non-profit Homes For The Homeless.

A highlight of the Waterside program, which was attended by teachers, staff and guests, was an original song written and performed by student Olivia Remert. Music teacher Gary Heimbauer accompanied her on one of the new guitars.


Student Taili Myers shows her skills on acoustic guitar at the PS 317Q auditorium. Student Taili Myers shows her skills on acoustic guitar at the PS 317Q auditorium. Afterwards, students gathered around to try out the instruments, passing them around, and talking about music. Principal Dana Gerendasi, who hosted the assembly, said that the elementary school has a very active band unit and songwriting cluster,

When Gerendasi asked the students to respond to the gift of music to their school, the children cheered in unison,

“Thank You!”

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