Sam Ash Music Donates Instruments to Local School District
In May, iconic retailer and NAMM Member Sam Ash Music donated over $22,000 of musical instruments to the Hempstead Union Free School District in Hempstead, New York. The donation was made in honor of Bernice Ash, the matriarch of the family, and the Bernice Ash Memorial Fund.
The Long Island town of Hempstead is an integral part of the Sam Ash Music legacy. Ash family members, including Jerry, Bernice, David, Richard, and Sammy, grew up in the community and ran the Hempstead location from 1960 to 1988. The Hempstead store was the largest of its time and opened to accommodate the large amount of business that came from Long Island. The location had immediate success and quickly grew to three times its original size. To thank the community of Hempstead for their years of patronage and further establishing and growing the Sam Ash Music brand, Sam Ash Music donated instruments in the name of matriarch Bernice Ash to the community’s students.
The donation included participation from Former Chairman Jerry Ash, COO Sammy Ash, and fourth-generation Sam Ash Music members Adam, Ben, and Derek Ash. The team visited Hempstead’s David Paterson Elementary to present the donation of instruments in Bernice Ash’s name, including trumpets, trombones, alto saxophones, clarinets, and flutes, from manufacturers Jean Baptiste and Benjamin Adams.
Richard Ash, third-generation Ash, and current Sam Ash President and CEO, reflected on the impact of the Hempstead store, saying, “I grew up in our Hempstead store. My mother and father, Bernice and Jerry Ash, worked there six days a week, and our company would not be where it is today if not for the town of Hempstead. We liked Hempstead so much that in addition to our store on Fulton Avenue, we opened a warehouse and executive office on Peninsula Boulevard. My mother was especially proud to have a business in the ‘Hub of Nassau County.’ She would have wanted this donation to occur in Hempstead.”
Bernice Ash, who passed on December 1, 2020, was a staple in the family’s business and in the industry at large. Since her passing, the Ash family, alongside industry titans Fred and Dinah Gretsch, Larry Morton of Hal Leonard, and The NAMM Foundation and generous supporters, have created the Bernice Ash Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund annually presents scholarship winners with a $5,000 one-time grant for continued education and a travel stipend to attend The NAMM Show. For more information about Bernice’s legacy and the Bernice Ash Memorial Scholarship Fund, please visit https://www.namm.org/playback/advancing-music-making/bernice-ash-honored-memorial-award.