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Mapleton Performing Arts receives nearly 50 donated instruments

From clarinets to violins, Mapleton music students now have many more tools to do what they love. On Aug. 12, the nonprofit Bringing Music to Life gave Mapleton performing arts staff nearly 50 donated instruments through its annual instrument drive. Mapleton applied for instruments because it needed to replace more than a quarter of its inventory, which was no longer in useable, playable condition due to wear and tear. That made it harder for instructors to teach, and potentially less appealing for students to learn. 

Teacher play instruments

Nothing will make a student quit faster than an instrument that doesn’t work,” said Mapleton Band and Guitar Director Kirby Dillmann. “All the instruments that we received are quality instruments and it’s really exciting to be able to put a really good instrument in a kid’s hand that’s going to take them higher and not leave them frustrated.” 

For 13 years, Bringing Music to Life has awarded more than 8,000 gently used band and orchestra instruments, that were donated and repaired, to underfunded Colorado schools. The nonprofit estimates those instruments have made it to the hands of 19,000 children from more than 300 music programs.  

Mapleton Band Director Zach Brake enjoyed seeing all the instruments stacked for the first time before he helped bring them back to the district. Not only did they represent new possibilities, but some connected a legacy. 

Instruments laid out in cases

“Every instrument has a story and some of the instruments, the people who donated them wrote little notes about what music means to them and how they hope this instrument can help the next generation,” he said. “It’s cool we’re part of that story and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. This will allow us to have that many more kids participate in our programs for years to come.” 

Performing Arts staff will lend some instruments to students to practice at home and use others at their Zero-Hour and beginner programs, servicing almost every school in the district. This donation will also make it easier for students to learn more than one type of instrument and share their gift with the world around them. 

“I think of my class as an opportunity to share in their community, for students to share in their culture, making music that goes beyond their personal selves,” said Mapleton Orchestra Director Nicholas Johnson. “This gives students the opportunity to participate in that to be able to take that instrument out of our room and use to express themselves.”