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Over 400 instruments donated by CPR listeners being distributed to more than 30 schools

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – August 2, 2011– Over 400 instruments donated by listeners during the Colorado Public Radio (CPR) Annual Instrument Drive last spring will begin making their way into the hands of Colorado students this month.

The instruments will go to more than 30 schools and music programs around the state – including 20 schools and music programs in the Denver metro area and schools in Grand Junction, Vail, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Fort Collins, Loveland and elsewhere. Many of them will be presented to students and their teachers on August 20 at the University of Denver’s Newman Center.

Tripling expectations, more than 1,300 musical instruments were collected last March during the instrument drive. Eight-five percent of them were repairable, which means that more than 1,000 of the instruments collected ultimately will end up in schools around the state for use by students.

The instruments being delivered to schools this month have all been repaired and refurbished by the Colorado Institute of Musical Technology (CIOMIT) of Castle Rock and are ready for use. Repairs on the remaining instruments will be made in the coming months.

CPR worked with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to review applications from schools throughout Colorado and place refurbished instruments in deserving school music programs around the state.

“This is one of the most gratifying activities I’ve ever been involved with,” said Steve Blatt, CPR’s director of community programs, who spearheaded the drive. “The public’s generosity was really overwhelming. And this wasn’t about people just cleaning out their attics. People donated instruments that have been in their families sometimes for generations. It’s a real acknowledgment on their part of the importance and value of music in kids’ lives.”

Research shows that children who participate in music demonstrate enhanced critical thinking, creative abilities and academic performance. A study from the 1999 College-Bound Seniors National Report shows that students who took music performance or appreciation classes scored higher on the SAT than students with no arts participation.

Schools and music programs that will receive instruments from this year’s instrument drive:

Denver Metro Area: Arvada K-8; Aurora Academy Charter School; Aurora Frontier K-8; Aurora West College Preparatory Academy; Casey Middle School, Boulder; City Strings, Denver; Denver School of the Arts; Denver Young Artists Orchestra; Eiber Elementary, Lakewood; Foster Elementary, Arvada; Gateway High School, Aurora; Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy, Denver; Lawrence Elementary, Arvada; Murphy Creek K-8, Aurora; Pinnacle Charter School, Federal Heights; Polton Elementary, Aurora; Prairie Middle School, Aurora; Slater Elementary, Lakewood; South Middle School, Aurora; Thornton Middle School.

Buena Vista: McGinnis Middle School.

Clifton: Mt. Garfield Middle School.

Colorado Springs: Griffith Children’s Center and Harrison High School.

Fort Collins: Lincoln Middle IB World School.

Grand Junction: Bookcliff Middle School and Grand Mesa Middle School.

Keenesburg: Weld Central High School.

Loveland: Conrad Ball Middle School.

Olathe: Olathe Middle and High School.

Pueblo: Freed Middle School.

Vail: First Notes.

The schools were selected based on the financial need of their students and the schools’ interest in promoting music education.

In addition to CIOMIT’s participation as repair partner for the drive and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation’s help in reviewing school applications, a number of 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, 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.

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.