Eddie Van Halen Left Substantial Donation to Music Education Foundation

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Eddie Van Halen and son Wolfgang

As if we couldn’t love the guy more. Turns out we can. In his will, Eddie Van Halen left a “transformative, substantial” bequest to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOF), which supports music education in at-risk public schools. The organization made the announcement on April 20, 2022. The legendary rock guitarist died on October 6, 2020. His donation is said to be in the seven figures.

The Foundation noted, “As U.S. schools are experiencing a greater need than ever before, this transformative donation will be significant in increasing the nonprofit’s capacity to support music programs across the country.

“Before his passing, Eddie Van Halen spent over a decade nurturing a close relationship with MHOF and his passion for the nonprofit’s mission to help students develop a love of music led him to leave a meaningful percentage of his estate to the organization in his will. The donation will enable MHOF to fulfill requests from a greater number of schools, add employees to its staff, improve the foundation’s technology and more.”

“Eddie’s support and friendship over the years meant the world to us and to his fans. His passion for music and our work created a strong bond, which is evident in his extraordinary bequest,” said Felice Mancini, President and CEO of MHOF. “To know how much our foundation meant to Eddie is intensely humbling and gratifying to all of us – and we know that Eddie’s family is confident that his powerful legacy and values live on through our efforts.”

Eddie Van Halen with music students (Photo via MHOF)

The non-profit Foundation was inspired by the acclaimed 1995 motion picture Mr. Holland’s Opus that starred Richard Dreyfuss, the story of the profound effect a dedicated music teacher had on generations of students. Michael Kamen, who wrote the score for the film, started the foundation in 1996 as his commitment to the future of music education.

In addition to Van Halen’s bequest, his son, Wolfgang Van Halen, who records and tours as Mammoth WVH, aims to carry on his father’s partnership, and legacy, with MHOF. Wolfgang donated the proceeds of his song, “Distance,” to MHOF in support of school music programs across the nation and as a dedication to his late father.

“Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and the work they do for music education was always something that was important to my father,” said Wolfgang Van Halen. “I am incredibly proud to help facilitate this donation as he wished. Mr. Holland’s Opus are champions for our musicians of the future and it is my privilege to continue supporting that mission and carrying on my pop’s legacy.”

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