December 09, 2009
KISS Presents Wilson Middle School With Gift Of Music

By Craig Day, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Legendary rock band KISS visited Tulsa's Wilson Middle School on Wednesday to shoot a segment of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

"I can't believe what all they have planned," said Caleb Starr, principal at Wilson. "This is going to be an amazing experience for the kids and the adults."

Starr said producers from Extreme Makeover approached him with an offer of free musical instruments from Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation as part of an upcoming edition of the show.

"They're rebuilding the home of a music teacher and his wife," said Starr, "and the teacher wanted to give musical instruments to a school in need. They asked if we would be interested, and we jumped on the opportunity."

Starr and his students were thrilled to learn KISS would be at the school to formally present the 40 new musical instruments to Wilson students, including violins, trumpets, saxophones and flutes.

"Everybody was like, KISS is coming," said 7th grader Kira Palmer. "Oh my gosh, they are donating instruments, I'm like 'no way,' but now that this is happening, I'm just really glad that they're doing this."

Students got their faces painted just like the members of KISS.

According to the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation web site, the organization donates both new and refurbished instruments to school and after-school music programs that lack the resources to keep up with equipment loss due to attrition, depreciation and wear over time.

Wilson Middle School has 515 students, 93% of whom qualify under federal poverty guidelines for free or reduced-price meals.

"It means a new opportunity for kids that want to be in the band, but we didn't have enough instruments so they can now be in the band," said Michael