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Colorado Public Radio boosts music education and appreciation in Colorado schools

Third Annual Instrument Drive Winds Down; Kids’ Music Week Kicks Off

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – April 5, 2012 – Music education in Colorado is getting a much-needed boost thanks to Colorado Public Radio’s (CPR) third Annual Instrument Drive. The two-week drive to collect gently-used musical instruments wrapped up in March. More than 760 instruments, worth an estimated $150,000, were donated by generous listeners in Metro Denver and Grand Junction.

“CPR listeners are passionate about the positive impact an instrument can make in the life of a child,” said Steve Blatt, CPR’s director of community programs. “And this program helps ensure that children who otherwise might not be able to afford an instrument still have the opportunity to learn to play.”

And while CPR is no longer collecting instruments this year, the work to prepare instruments for distribution is just getting started. Approximately $38,000 was collected from major donors, foundations and individuals to help pay for instrument refurbishments. The Colorado Institute of Musical Instrument Technology is currently repairing the donated instruments at a greatly reduced cost so that they will be in the best, playable condition for years to come.

“The life span of a musical instrument extends far beyond the school year,” noted Blatt. “These instruments will stay in the schools for years to come and ideally benefit thousands of children.”

Since its first instrument drive in 2009, CPR has awarded more than 1,000 band and orchestra instruments to more than 40 Colorado schools. This year’s instruments will be presented to music teachers before the start of the 2012/2013 school year. CPR works with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to identify and meet the needs of underfunded music programs. The majority of instruments will be awarded to Title One schools. Schools interested in applying for musical instruments can apply online.

The Instrument Drive is just one of many ways CPR is working to promote music education in Colorado. Kids’ Music Week runs from April 9 – 15 and features programming for children on CPR’s classical music service, including a live broadcast of The Colorado Symphony’s youth concert, special after-school programs, a performance by the Denver Young Artists Orchestra and ticket giveaways to upcoming family concerts. In addition, CPR will broadcast stories from teachers and students who have received instruments during the instrument drive. View the full schedule of events.

Colorado Public Radio is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides 24-hour, in-depth news and music to about 475,000 listeners each week (Source: Arbitron, 2011). More than 90 percent of CPR's funds come from the private support of listeners, businesses and foundations.

News: Denver 90.1 FM, 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.

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.

OpenAir: Denver 1340 AM. Online at www.openaircpr.org