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National Nonprofit Little Kids Rock® & Epiphone Team Up To Support Music Education In Public Schools

Nancy Wilson of Heart to serve as Artist Ambassador to help bring instruments to U.S. public school music programs

Press Release – Verona, NJ/Nashville, TN February 14, 2017 –Epiphone Instruments and national nonprofit Little Kids Rock® are proud to announce that throughout 2017, they will work together in a special initiative to bring 10,000 new Epiphone guitars to public school music programs around the United States. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nancy Wilson of Heart will lend her support as an official artist ambassador.

“I’m so proud to support the work that Epiphone and Little Kids Rock are doing to ensure our children have access to the music education they deserve,” said Wilson. “This year alone they will provide over 10,000 guitars to support music education in public schools across the country.”

For over a century, Epiphone has been dedicated to making professional, affordable string instruments like the PRO-1—the critically acclaimed collection of acoustic and electric guitars designed to be easy to play and encourage musicians from an early age. Little Kids Rock is a non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all public school children have the opportunity to unlock their inner music makers.

“Epiphone has been a longtime fan of Little Kids Rock,” said Epiphone President Jim Rosenberg. “We couldn’t think of a better day than Valentine’s Day to announce that Nancy Wilson of Heart will help us make 2017 an incredible year for music programs throughout America.”

Nancy Wilson helped kick off the historic initiative earlier this year by inviting the Modern Band students from the Equitas Academy Middle School in Los Angeles for a tour of the Epiphone/Gibson Showroom in Beverly Hills. After being treated to a student performance of “Magic Man” and “Alone,” Wilson spoke to the students about her career, offered music tips, and then surprised them with a donation of brand new Epiphone guitars for their school.

Epiphone’s critically acclaimed PRO-1 Classic acoustic guitar will be the featured instrument of the initiative with exclusive instruments to be announced throughout the year.

“Through our relationship with Epiphone, Little Kids Rock will be empowered to serve more kids than ever before,” says Little Kids Rock CEO, David Wish, who founded the nonprofit in 2002 after leaving his job as an inner-city first grade teacher. “This synergy will also enable us to provide our kids with quality instruments just like their favorite musicians use–an opportunity that they may not have otherwise had.”

Since 2002, Little Kids Rock has enriched the lives of more than 500,000 public school students by empowering and equipping music teachers to launch Modern Band music programs. Modern Band music programs focus on teaching kids popular music like rock, pop and hip hop. This exciting new initiative with Epiphone will ensure that Little Kids Rock continues its goal to restore, expand, and innovate music education in public schools across the nation.

Visit www.epiphone.com and http://www.littlekidsrock.org/epiphone/ for videos, news and special events throughout 2017.

Epiphone PRO-1 Classic: http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Acoustic/PRO-1-Classic.aspx

About Little Kids Rock:

Little Kids Rock is a national nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in our schools. The organization partners with public school districts to train teachers to run its innovative Modern Band curriculum, and donates all the accompanying instruments and resources necessary to teach popular music in a way that empowers students to experience instant achievement. What began as a single after-school guitar class has since exploded into a national movement that brings free, weekly music lessons to over 275,000 public school children through the efforts of more than 1,800 teachers in 127 school districts nationwide. To date, Little Kids Rock has served more than 500,000 students.

About Epiphone:

For over 140 years, Epiphone has been a leading innovator in musical instrument design with historic models like the Casino, the Texan, and the new Masterbilt Century Archtop Collection. Epiphone is also home to the PRO-1 Collection and is the official instrument of Rocksmith® Remastered, the critically acclaimed video experience that’s teaching millions around the world how to play guitar and bass. Epiphone began as the “House of Stathopoulo” family business in Sparta in the 1870s, rose to fame in Manhattan, and continues to make history today from its headquarters in Nashville, TN, celebrating 60 years as part of the Gibson Family of Instruments. Epiphones have powered classics by Les Paul, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones, along with today’s top artists like Gary Clark Jr., Jack Casady, Tommy Thayer of KISS, Brent Hinds, and Alabama Shakes. As part of Gibson Brands, Epiphone offers innovation, history, and a lifetime guarantee. At Epiphone, we’re still the House of Stathopoulo: We’re designers. We’re players. We’re mavericks. And, we’re passionate about everything we do.

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