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Sam Ash Music Donates Musical Instruments in Bernice Ash’s Name

Christian Wissmuller • Upfront • May 12, 2021

Sam Ash Music, on behalf of Bernice Ash, is donating over $22,000 worth of musical instruments to the Hempstead, New York school district. The assortment of instruments includes trumpets, trombones, alto saxophones, clarinets, and flutes from the Jean Baptiste and Benjamin Adams line of instruments.

The Ash family thanks the town of Hempstead for being an integral part of Sam Ash Music’s legacy. Jerry, Bernice, David, Richard, and Sammy Ash all grew up on Fulton Avenue and ran the store there from 1960 until 1988. To thank the town for their patronage all those years, as well as helping Sam Ash Music build their business from a small handful of stores to one of the largest and most-trusted names in music retail, the Ash family wants to give back to the community with instruments the students of the school district would benefit from acquiring.

“I literally grew up in our music store in Hempstead. My mother Bernice Ash and my father Jerry Ash worked at the store 6 days a week,” says Richard Ash. “We owe so much to this town. We started with a small store across from A&S in 1960 ( I was 6 years old) as business improved we kept expanding until we eventually took the entire block. Our company would not be were it is today if were not for the town of Hempstead. In fact we liked Hempstead  so much that in addition to our store on Fulton avenue, we opened a warehouse and executive offices on Peninsula Boulevard. My mother, Bernice was especially proud of having a business in the ‘Hub of Nassau County.'”

Bernice Ash recently passed on December 1st, 2020. Since her passing, music industry leaders Fred and Dinah Gretsch, the Ash Family, and the NAMM foundation created the Bernice Ash Memorial Scholarship Fund which will annually recognize one or two scholarship winners with a one-time grant in the amount of $5,000 for use in continued college-level or trade-related studies, and a travel stipend to attend The NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. Recipients will also receive a one-year mentorship through the NAMM Young Professionals group.

Richard concludes, “I thought that the donation by the Sam Ash family of all of these band instruments to the Hempstead school district would be something my Mom would have wanted.”

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