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Barry Manilow will award a Tampa music teacher at his upcoming concert

Manilow plays Amalie Arena on Jan. 14, but you can vote until Dec. 28.
Barry Manilow plays Tampa's Amalie Arena Jan. 14, 2023.
Barry Manilow plays Tampa's Amalie Arena Jan. 14, 2023. [ STILETTO ENTERTAINMENT | Courtesy of STILETTO Entertainment ]
Published Dec. 20, 2022

When iconic singer-songwriter Barry Manilow brings his tour to Tampa’s Amalie Arena in January, he won’t just be playing the songs the whole world sings. He’ll also give one Tampa music teacher The Manilow Music Teacher Award.

Presented by The Manilow Music Project, select music teachers in every city on the winter arena tour receive the award. In Tampa, the school board and staff from Amalie Arena suggested several teachers. Now, anyone can vote for their choice online at tradablebits.com/tb_app/480329. Voting ends Dec. 28.

The selected teachers receive a $5,000 cash award for personal use and $5,000 in “Manilow Bucks” to spend on instruments for their school’s music program. The winner also gets free VIP tickets to the concert and Manilow will award the recipient at a meet-and-greet backstage.

The Manilow Music Project has donated more than $10 million in instruments and scholarships over the past 34 years. Manilow was inspired to start the charity after an acquaintance came to him looking for a saxophone for his daughter, because the schools were running out of instruments and music programs were losing funding or had it cut altogether.

“I can’t tell you how important for these young kids,” Manilow said during a recent phone interview. “These music classes ... become their second family. Music changes their lives, I see it happening over and over.”

Of the seven dates on the Manilow: Hits 2023 tour, three are in Florida, including in Sunrise and Orlando. This means that three music teachers in the state will have the opportunity to expand their school’s programs and expose children to the life-changing experience of music.

Tickets for the Jan. 14 concert are on sale now at ticketmaster.com and manilow.com. The limited engagement tour celebrates Manilow’s 50th anniversary as a performer.

While he doesn’t like to tour that often, Manilow has a residency at the International Theater at the Westgate Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. It’s beneficial for keeping Manilow and his band to keep working without the stress of going out on the road.

When his residency resumes after his winter tour, he’s set to break Elvis Presley’s record for most shows at the venue, although Manilow humbly shrugs that off as an accolade. He said he’s a little embarrassed to break the King’s record because “nobody can come close” to his quality.

But it’s safe to say Manilow is also an icon: As one of the world’s bestselling recording artists, he has 12 No. 1 hits and Grammy, Emmy and Tony awards.

At 79, Manilow joked that he “never intended to be this old,” but said he still has all the energy he’s ever had to perform.

“I think if you slow down that is dangerous because ... you’ll eventually stop,” he said. “I think you’ve got to keep working. Keep your mind going, keep your body going. I think it’s working for me.”

He’s looking forward to connecting with fans on the tour.

“It’s going to be an evening of wonderful music,” he said. “You know what I have that no one has anymore? Melody. ... And that’s what you’ll get when you come to my show.”