Providing every child access to the life-changing experience of making music.
September 2021

The beginning of the school year marks the end of our annual cycle. This year, we not only met our year-end deadline, we beat it! Thanks to the unparalleled success of this year's instrument drive, we filled most of the needs of all qualifying music programs. Of the instruments donated last March and repaired in the interim, 594 were in the hands of Colorado children when 41 band directors and orchestra conductors picked up their batons for the first downbeat of the new school year. And for the first time, instrument donations outpaced instrument applications. That means extra brass, strings and woodwinds are waiting in the wings - ready to be repaired and awarded as part of the 2022 instrument drive.
Based on the cumulative impact of the more than 6,000 instruments we have awarded to schools over the past 11 years, music programs are growing. More instruments mean more musicians experiencing more smiles and more happiness. In the case of multi-year awardee, Bennett School District, music education enrollment even warranted the addition of a third music teacher this year! Yes, bands are bigger. But it is not just the music programs that grow. Once in the hands of young musicians, the instruments we award grow something bigger. They grow skills, self-confidence, and self-esteem in our kids!
These musical instruments
will bring more smiles and
more happiness
to my students.
Yvette Teschner
Music Teacher
Liberty Point International School
Pueblo District 70
Music is always a reminder of
something bigger
than yourself.

Carolyn Warpinski
Director of Bands and Choirs
Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences 
Denver Public Schools
I was wiping 30-year-old dust off a trombone case when I first saw CWW. As a Bringing Music to Life board member, I have worked during most of the last eleven summers in storage units rented from StorQuest, sorting, labelling and organizing band and orchestra instruments for the upcoming school year. Usually all traces of the previous owners - with the exception of the occasional school bumper sticker (Go, Pumas!) - have been removed in the repair and sanitization process by our repair partners, CIOMIT and Boomer Music. However, this brass monogram was a permanent part of the case. I wondered briefly what the initials might have stood for - Charles? Carolina? I will in all probability never meet this generous donor. After some consideration, I realized that was for the best. My job was to help these instruments along to future musicians. I clicked open the case, revealing a beautifully restored trumpet. Worthy of a name, I thought. Since I was dusty and sweaty and standing in a storage unit, the formality of middle names seemed unnecessary; I would just call the trumpet CW.

Once everything a school will be awarded has been assembled in one space, the temporary labels - blue tapes with names written on them in Sharpie - are replaced with BMTL donation tags. This portion of the job feels like good training should a person want to work as an airport baggage handler, although all our final destinations are here in Colorado and, I'm proud to say, cases are never thrown. After a final check to be sure rosin and reeds are
enclosed, the instruments are ready to go on to new music students.

This was the second year that Covid precautions kept us from our traditional instrument presentation ceremony. We made the best of it, visited with the resilient and adaptable teachers who arrived at our storage facility to load up their cars with instruments. We hope to see them next year back at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts on the DU campus.

I read an article once about sterilization technicians, the people who process medical instruments for surgeries. Many admitted to privately saying a prayer over the instruments or simply wishing their work would somehow contribute to the best possible outcomes for the patients and care providers they would never see. I feel like this about BMTL instruments, too. I am grateful to CWW the Donor, as well as all of the other donors. I appreciate the staff at our donation locations, our repair partners and especially the parents and teachers of all of our children. My wish is that BMTL instruments find their way to curious learners, inspire practice and creativity, and get quickly found and returned when left behind on school buses. I hope they are present as Colorado's kids grow, learn, play and have fun.
Good luck, CW. Maybe I'll hear from you again someday.

-Christine Andresen
Betsy O'Malley, shown here with Irish piper, Dirk Mewes, at the Windsor Farm Market
Betsy O'Malley has been playing traditional country dance tunes for 40 years. Initially, her childhood experiences with music left her adrift; mismatched to the wrong instrument. She finally found her instruments (mandolin, banjo and fiddle) and her musical language (traditional Irish and Appalachian) as a young adult. 

Betsy thrives in musical settings that are open and informal. She is motivated by a desire to bring live acoustic music to outdoor public spaces to let children see that music making can happen almost anywhere.  During the long lockdown months of the pandemic when Betsy felt she was languishing musically, a CPR segment about the 2021 Instrument Drive inspired her to busk for Bringing Music to Life. This summer she made 14 appearances, both solo and with cohorts, at farmer’s markets across Northern Colorado as a friend-raiser and a fundraiser for BMTL.
The music she plays and sings has always been a community music, says Betsy.  It thrives in group settings. It wants a crowd of players and the give and take that occurs. This is how people learn it, and how the music stays vibrant and sustainable.  Betsy's busking for BMTL this past summer spread awareness of our mission throughout the Northern Colorado community and raised a substantial amount for our instrument repair fund – helping BMTL continue to stay healthy and strong.  

In Ireland the saying goes, “When you have the music, you have friends wherever you go.” We are grateful for our new friend, Betsy O’Malley.
GLISSANDO: a deliberate slide between two notes
Anne and David Necker have served as BMTL Board Co-Chairs since our inception. Based on their love of music and our mission, they have led from their hearts. As such, they have been essential in developing strong personal relationships both inside and outside of the organization. Although they have decided to relinquish their leadership positions to allow for more travel, their commitment and dedication to Bringing Music to Life remains. We are honored that they will continue serving as co-chairs emeritus, making for a smooth and fluid transition.
Michael Frank will slide into the role of Board Chair and carry us forward. Michael joined the board in 2018. He is a retired pediatrician with a lifelong interest in music. This passion motivated him, during the final years of his medical career, to earn a BA in music composition from Regis University. Among his creations is Gravitas, a piece that was premiered at a 2019 benefit for Bringing Music to Life.

Throughout his life, Michael has been motivated by a desire to do something more, to do something different. Bringing Music To Life will continue to benefit from his proactive and creative approach.
Convert canned goods into cornets, and Cheerios into cellos.
Did you know that when you register your King Soopers Loyalty Rewards Card (or your dedicated King Soopers credit card) your dollars make a difference?

By identifying Bringing Music to Life as the organization you want to support, a percentage of the money you spend at King Soopers will be awarded to us at no additional cost to you. You don't pay more when you are in the community rewards program, but your dollars do more. Sustenance for your family helps to sustain music education in Colorado!
Our Organization Number is BF312
Bringing Music to Life

2390 S Fillmore St
Denver, Colorado 80210
(303) 756-3123
Steve Blatt, Executive Director . Michael Frank, Board Chair .
Christine Andresen . Rebekah Bonn . Peter Dawes . Anne Necker . David Necker . Kathy Newman .
Jerry Reuschhoff . Lin Williams .