Instrument donations aid local music students

August 24, 2018

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Students performed and Colorado Symphony music director Brett Mitchell applauded Colorado music teachers at the Bringing Music to Life instrument presentation event on August 11. Bringing Music to Life board members and volunteers distributed 450 instruments to 37 Colorado schools and music programs. The event marked $2 million in the value of musical instruments given out over the course of eight instrument drives. “Even more important than the monetary value of these donations,” said executive director Steve Blatt, “we’ve given many thousands of Colorado children access to the life-changing experience of making music.”

Mitchell spoke of his experience as a public school student who discovered his passion for music with the guidance of dedicated educators. To the teachers in the audience, he said, “what I want to convey to you is how important the work you do is, and how crucial it is that these students you work with have this opportunity because of what you do. All of us at the Colorado Symphony are so thrilled to partner with Bringing Music to Life to help you do this incredibly important work.”

Students Everett McKenna of Slavens K-8 and Juliette Rusin of University Park Elementary, both Denver schools, performed after their teacher, Christmas Gainsborough, described her students’ experience with past Instrument Drive donations.

Special recognition went to Donovan Whitehead, a recent graduate of Silver Creek High School, who raised nearly $5,000 to help repair instruments donated during the 2018 instrument drive. Those repairs are critical because they ensure that instruments are in excellent, playable condition before they are put in students’ hands.

“Study after study shows that learning music makes a positive impact on children,” said Blatt. “Their listening skills improve, along with their creative thinking, self-discipline and self-esteem. Students learn the value of persevering and how to work with others toward a common goal. We’re excited to have reached even more children, schools, and communities this year.”

A music instrument drive is underway at Macy’s Cherry Creek and Park Meadows through Aug. 25.

More information about Bringing Music to Life is available at