Donate your old band or orchestral instrument to support students in the wake of the Marshall fire


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 Bringing Music to Life Instrument Drive, and he had ready-made replacement instruments for any child who lost their instrument in the fire.

“I called the Boulder Valley School District and just said, ‘How can we help you?'”

2021 has been the instrument player’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. This surplus ended up being a much-needed donation to Boulder Valley schools, with Blatt coordinating with the school district to donate 40 instruments to students who lost them in the fire.

“Bringing the music to life has been awesome,” says Abrey Yeh, BVSD’s coordinator for language, arts and humanities. “Just give us all kinds of instruments…instruments that are already cleaned and repaired.” Yeh said the instruments were ready to use, which meant Boulder Valley schools could quickly distribute them to students.

“Our biggest concern initially was that we didn’t want these students coming back to school, who had just gone through this really difficult experience of losing their home, and sitting in a group class and looking around them and feeling like ‘oh, I’m not a part of this anymore,’ Yeh says.

And after an event like the Marshall Fire, having that musical community is vital.

“It’s like their second family,” Blatt says. “The orchestra or band is where they come together with people and they feel accepted and part of something really special.”

Music can be a gift in our lives, and you can give the gift of music by donating your old band or orchestral instrument at this year’s Bringing Music to Life Instrument Drive. Bringing Music to Life has 17 drop-off locations across the state. To find a drop-off point near you, go to BringingMusicToLife.org.

If you don’t have an instrument to give, give the repair fund is equally important. The average cost to repair an instrument is around $165. You can also donate your car or sign up for King Soopers community rewards.

Bringing Music to Life Instrument Drive 2022 will take place March 7-20.

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