For decades, the music students at College Place Middle School in Lynnwood have used the same instruments. Many of them are hand-me-downs that are close to falling apart.

On Tuesday, during a special performance featuring the school s band and orchestra, the students got a huge surprise. They were presented with four brand new timpani drums, three violins and two violas worth $20,000.

Usually when we do fundraisers the money goes to football or softball uniforms. It doesn't go to anything like instruments, said Luka Jones, an eighth grade violinist.

The gift came from Fidelity Investments, which worked with the Mr. Holland s Opus Foundation, a national nonprofit organization inspired by the movie Mr. Holland s Opus, the story of a dedicated high school music teacher who had a profound effect on his students.

The foundation is dedicated to bringing musical instruments to underserved schools and community programs, to keep music alive. Fidelity just opened up a Lynnwood office and wanted to do something for the community.

The band and orchestra teachers at College Place were overwhelmed with the donation, which they say will make a huge difference in the lives of their students.

They're so proud of their performances. This will bring one more level of pride to their performances at school and in the public, said band teacher Kate Labiak.

The Mr. Holland s Opus Foundation has donated nearly $2 million worth of instruments to schools this year. To learn more, go to

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