CENTENNIAL, Colo. - July 13, 2011 – A Colorado Public Radio (CPR) “Colorado Matters” interview with deaf jazz singer Mandy Harvey of Loveland won a first prize in Public Radio News Directors Inc.'s 2011 awards competition.

The awards, announced this month, recognize outstanding news reporting by public radio stations around the country.

“Feeling the Music” aired on December 14 and won first prize for news interviews by stations in large markets. The judges said the story was a “very compelling and unusual profile of a musician whose talents extend beyond music, namely by overcoming challenges yet staying true to her craft. [The] interviewer asked all the right questions, and displayed sensitivity and curiosity.”

“I would say it's a story that stuck with me and her resiliency is remarkable,” said “Colorado Matters” Host Ryan Warner. “This kind of interview is a perfect example of what public radio does best - providing listeners with an intimate in-depth story that communicates a unique world view.”

Harvey, 23, has been performing since she was four. She had hearing problems on an off her entire life. But it was during her freshman year at Colorado State University, when she was 18, that her hearing began to deteriorate rapidly. She was completely deaf by the end of that school year.

She still sings despite the loss of her hearing, feeling the musical vibrations from the instruments of band members with various parts of her body.

“I’ll feel and concentrate the drums through the floor, through my feet and then the bass through your chest,” Harvey said. “And then if a saxophone player is next to me then it will be on my arm. So you just designate different parts of your body so you can concentrate on who’s playing what and when.”

Colorado Public Radio audio producer David Fender produced the story. Listen to the story or read the transcript.

Colorado Public Radio is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides 24-hour, in-depth news and classical music to about 450,000 listeners each week (Source: Arbitron, Spring / Fall 2010). More than 90 percent of CPR's funds come from the private support of listeners, businesses, and foundations.

Colorado Public Radio In-Depth News: Denver 90.1 FM and 1340 AM, Boulder 1490 AM, Pueblo 1230 AM, Vail 89.9 FM, Grand Junction 89.5 FM, Montrose / Craig / Parachute 88.3 FM, Gunnison 88.5 FM, Ouray 91.5 FM, Meeker / Rangely 91.1 FM, and online at www.CPR.org.

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