Smokey Robinson Performs with Pio Pico Students and Presents $1M Niagara Cares Donation

By Published On: January 19, 2017

Motown Legend Smokey Robinson “Seconds That Emotion” by Presenting a $1 Million Check Donated by Niagara Cares for Music Education

Robinson delivers instruments and moment of a lifetime to students at Pio Pico Elementary School. 

Students at Pio Pico Middle School in Los Angeles were treated to a very special guest at their Wednesday morning performance when Motown icon, Smokey Robinson, took a seat in the front row of their auditorium. The soulful singer was on-hand to deliver new musical instruments to the school and present a $1 million donation from the Niagara Cares charity to Music Will.

Pio Pico’s music students are no strangers to Robinson’s music. The program does a tribute to Motown every year. “We learned about Smokey Robinson in class and saw a movie about him for our lesson on Motown. And, now he’s here listening to us play!” said eighth-grader and guitarist Brando Perez. “This is so amazing and awesome!”

When the kids came to one of Robinson’s own songs on their set list, they knew exactly what to do. One of the vocalists stepped down from the stage, microphone in hand, and handed it to Smokey who happily obliged the request and joined them in a rendition of “You Really Got a Hold On Me.” The impromptu performance was unexpected. “He was right next to me singing. I was star struck!” shared sixth grader and vocalist Ashley Del-Cid.

“He was even singing to the school’s music teacher, Randy Rodarte, for all the work that he does in the kids’ musical education,” said Tony Sauza, Music Will’s Los Angeles Regional Program Director.

Robinson shared how he discovered his love of music when he was a student just like them in urban Detroit. “When you are fortunate enough to have a program like this, which you can use to learn to do what you love, take advantage of it,” he shared. “Talented kids are everywhere and they deserve the right to be able to develop their talent, to use it, and to enjoy it.”

The celebration of music concluded with Robinson revealing new gear for the school. The instruments are just the beginning of thousands that will be arriving at schools across the country thanks to the generous support of Niagara Bottling.