For Immediate Release
Date: July 13, 2020


New Hampshire Department of Education
6032710448 |

NH Rocks!

Providing modern band instruments to Granite State schools

CONCORD- The New Hampshire Department of Education is proud to announce the creation of New Hampshire Rocks!, a new competitive grant program that will provide modern band instruments and student musical training to Granite State schools. The Department has partnered with Little Kids Rock, Graystone Builders, and Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation to provide schools a chance to expand student opportunities to create, perform, respond, and connect in music by providing professional development for teachers in modern band pedagogy and instruments for school music programs in districts in need across New Hampshire.

“Modern band music programs empower teachers to use the music that kids know and love, including rock, pop, R&B, country, and hip-hop to master music competencies,” said Marcia McCaffrey, Arts Consultant with the New Hampshire Department of Education. “Through modern band, students gain musical skills that enable them to play together, compose songs together, build community, and express through music their thoughts, ideas, and emotions.”

New Hampshire Rocks! will provide:

  • Student-centered musical training and performance opportunities;
  • Opportunities for students to engage in collaborative music-making and music performances, especially important for students who do not relate to traditional school music programs; and
  • Youth development through music while increasing school-community connections.

In addition to donations from Graystone Builders and the Milagro Foundation, New Hampshire Rocks! is funded in part by $10,000 from the Department’s federal Title IV-A funds. Thus far, New Hampshire Rocks! has raised enough to provide grants to at least 12 New Hampshire schools. Schools may fill out an application online. Winners will be based on established selection criteria. Applications are open now through August 7. Selected schools will be notified no later than August 14. 

“Music is a powerful tool to unlock creativity and learning,” said Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. “Through New Hampshire Rocks!, we’re going to be able to help schools expand their modern band programs, and provide musical opportunities to more New Hampshire students.”

For more information, contact Marcia McCaffrey at (603) 271-3193 or