Donations help Boulder kids who lost instruments in Marshall Fire

The donation campaign begins on March 7 and ends on March 20.

BOULDER CITY, Nev. — When the Marshall Fire burned through Boulder County, it took everything, big and small, from some kids in the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD).

“We’ve had a lot of students who have lost their homes and also, as part of that, their instruments,” said Aubrey Yeh, BVSD coordinator for language arts and humanities. “And so we have over 100 instruments lost in the fire.”

Yeh coordinates elective programs for Boulder Valley schools, including band and orchestra. She said musical instruments were expensive to replace and often time-consuming.

“Where are we going to start replacing all these instruments? Yes said. “Either the financial side, or where do we find all these instruments right away?”

Yeh turned to Bringing Music to Life. 9NEWS partners with the nonprofit each year to encourage people to donate used musical instruments to struggling school programs across the state.

RELATED: Bringing Music to Life Helps Create New Colorado High School Music Curriculum

“This is the first time we’ve had the opportunity to help in this way,” said Steve Blatt, executive director of Bringing Music to Life.

Blatt said it wasn’t the original design for Bringing Music to Life, but he said this year it was meant to be.

“We ended up with more instruments from our last record than expected and of course when word got out that they were in a lot of pain in Louisville and Superior, we thought okay, let’s do our part,” Blatt said. .

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For the students who ended up with ruins, Yeh said she thinks finding an instrument for them helps them stop feeling like victims.

“If they’re in school and they don’t have anything to play when a lot of their classmates do, it’s not very pleasant,” Yeh said.

Blatt said Bringing Music to Life is donating 40 instruments, from violins to trombones to guitars.

“Our repair partner, the Colorado Institute of Musical Instrument Technology, went out of their way to get them done quickly for the Boulder Valley School District,” Blatt said. “We try to find out what the needs are, what do they specifically need, and then check with what we have and try to match that.”

Yeh said these instruments can help a student’s mental health after losing everything.

“Music is wonderful and healing and a way to often express things beyond words and obviously there’s a lot of emotion going on right now,” Yeh said.

Yeh said she was grateful Bringing Music to Life could help.

“It’s been huge and really taken a load off me in terms of being able to take care of these kids and focus on that,” Yeh said.

The Bringing Music to Life Instrument Drive runs from March 7-20.

If you would like to know where to donate a used musical instrument or donate money to help repair and refurbish it, click here: BringMusic.org

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