CENTENNIAL, Colo. - May 16, 2011 – Colorado Public Radio (CPR) listeners showed their support for music education by donating more than 1,300 musical instruments to CPR's second Annual Instrument Drive. Coloradans donated flutes, clarinets, trumpets, violins, and other band and orchestra instruments by the hundreds, tripling the anticipated total and ensuring that thousands of students across the state can participate in music education programs this fall and for many years to come.

“Preserving music education opportunities in the midst of declining school budgets is an integral part of CPR's mission, and we were overwhelmed by our listeners' generosity in supporting this work,” said CPR Director of Community Programs Steve Blatt. “While many instruments had been in listeners' families for years, they were willing to give them away so that children whom they didn't know would have a chance to learn to play.”

In late August, CPR will begin distributing instruments to elementary and middle schools following repairs by the Colorado Institute of Musical Instrument Technology (CIOMIT).

“Of the more than 1,300 instruments that were donated, we estimate that about 1,000 are reparable for student use, totaling about $500,000 in appraised value,” said Daniel Parker, president of CIOMIT. “We’re happy to contribute our time and resources so that as many instruments as possible go to Colorado children by August.”

Many community members donated to CPR's instrument repair fund, which will be used to reimburse CIOMIT for supplies and labor in refurbishing donated instruments.

CPR is working with the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation to review applications from more than 30 schools statewide and place refurbished instruments in deserving school music programs throughout Colorado.

“Colorado Public Radio is truly a champion for classical music and music education,” said Felice Mancini, executive director of the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. “Many organizations have sponsored events to help put more instruments into schools, but CPR's results were astounding. We really witnessed the power of radio and community partnerships in this event.”

Several organizations and retail businesses across the state supported the Colorado Public Radio Annual Instrument Drive by announcing it at events or serving as drop-off locations: The Arvada Center, Boulder Philharmonic, Colorado Education Association, The Colorado Symphony, Denver Philharmonic, Denver Young Artists Orchestra, Friends of Chamber Music, Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra, Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Opera Colorado, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, HB Woodsongs, Denver Folklore Center, Flesher-Hinton Music, Kolacny Music, The Music Box, Rockley Music Company, and Golden Music Center.

It has been proven that children who participate in music demonstrate enhanced critical thinking, creative abilities and academic performance, which was one of the reasons CPR held its first instrument drive in late 2009. Based on the positive response from recipient schools, CPR decided to make the drive an annual event.

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.

Colorado Public Radio Classical Music: Denver 88.1 FM, Boulder 99.9 FM, Pueblo 91.9 FM, Colorado Springs 94.7 FM, Glenwood Springs 90.5 FM, Aspen 101.5 FM, Western Slope 103.3 FM, Dove Creek 88.7 FM, Gunnison 89.1 FM, Cortez 102.5 FM, Crystal River Valley / Old Snowmass 93.9 FM, Thomasville 93.7 FM, and online at www.CPR.org.

Colorado Institute of Musical Instrument Technology (CIOMIT) is a school of instrument repair and premier repair facility that services professional and student instruments from across the United States. COIMIT offers education and training in the field of musical instrument repair, focusing on the disciplines of brass, woodwind, strings, and percussion. More information at www.ciomit.com.

Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation (MHOF) was founded in 1996, inspired by the acclaimed motion picture “Mr. Holland’s Opus” about the profound effects a dedicated music teacher had on generations of students. The Foundation donates both new and refurbished instruments to school and after-school music programs and giving children the many benefits of music education, helping them to be better students and inspiring creativity and expression through playing music. More information at www.mhopus.org.

###