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(Credit: Alan Light)


Eddie Van Halen's influence continued by Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation

Eddie Van Halen was a deeply influential musician in life, and continues to be a towering influence on the world around him in death. Judging by the “transformative” financial contribution the guitarist left for The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, his influence will continue to be felt. He was involved in the organisation prior to his death, supporting them and their efforts to guide young, burgeoning musicians with the financial support their personal standings prohibit.

On Wednesday, April 20th, it was revealed that the musician has provided a grand amount of money for the foundation, in the region of seven figures.

“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, the President and CEO of the Foundation. “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’s son Wolfgang has continued his father’s work, by donating the proceeds from the rock single ‘Distance’ to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. In a statement, Wolfgang said that the Foundation’s work was very important to his parent, and he feels it’s his duty to continue his father’s legacy. The organisation was named after Mr. Holland’s Opus, a high-school movie that garnered Richard Dreyfuss an Oscar nomination for his efforts.

Composer Michael Kamen started the foundation, donating a collection of high-quality instruments to schools while also providing a number of support services to schools in the area. Kamen was a formidable composer, who worked on Brazil, Licence to Kill and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Eddie Van Halen is best remembered for his work with Van Halen, a band he fronted with brother Alex. David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone were some of the musicians who collaborated with the band over the years, but the focus was always on the brothers, who padded the tunes out with their distinct qualities and quirks on their heavy metal backdrop.