UPDATE: Nearly 1,000 instruments were donated during this year's instrument drive, one of the most successful ever! 35 schools have applied to receive instruments.
When the Marshall Fire destroyed over 1,000 homes and structures near Boulder, Steve Blatt knew how he could help. Blatt is the founding director of the Bringing Music to Life Instrument Drive, and he had replacement instruments ready to go for any kid who had lost their instrument in the fire.
“I called Boulder Valley School District and just asked, 'how can we help you out?'”
2021 had been the instrument drive’s most successful year in terms of instruments donated. So successful, in fact, that the nonprofit had more working instruments than schools to award them to. That surplus ended up being a much needed donation for Boulder Valley Schools with Blatt coordinating with the school district to donate 40 instruments to students who lost them lost in the fire.
“Bringing Music to Life has been awesome,” says BVSD Coordinator of Language, Arts & Humanities Abrey Yeh. “Just giving us all sorts of instruments… instruments that are already cleaned and repaired.” Yeh said the instruments were ready to go, which meant Boulder Valley Schools could get them out to students quickly.
“Our biggest concern initially was that we didn’t want these students to come back to school, who had just been through this really tough experience of losing their home, and be sitting in band class and looking around and feeling like ‘oh, I’m not a part of this anymore,'” says Yeh.
And after an event like the Marshall Fire, having that musical community is vital.
“It’s like their second family,” says Blatt. “The orchestra or band is where they get together with people and they feel they are accepted and part of something really special.”
This year's instrument drive is March 7th - 20th. Donated instruments will be repaired and matched with Title I schools throughout the state that have applied for instruments. Applications for donated instruments are due on March 31st.
You can give the gift of music to a school-aged child who otherwise couldn't afford to rent or buy an instrument by donating your old band or orchestra instrument during this year’s Bringing Music to Life instrument drive. Bringing Music to Life has 17 drop-off sites throughout the state. To find a drop-off location near you, go to BringingMusicToLife.org.
If you don’t have an instrument to donate, giving to the repair fund is equally as important. The average cost to repair an instrument is about $165. You can also donate your car or sign up for King Soopers Community Rewards.
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