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Bringing Music to Life got more than 1,000 donated instruments and now has one more hurdle

The organization that provides instruments to students in struggling music programs needs more schools to apply.

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — At Rocky Mountain Music Repair in Broomfield, owner Brian Stevenson is no stranger to cleaning old student instruments.

"Get all the chocolate chip cookies, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and things out of 'em and kind of get 'em all refreshed that way," he said while scrubbing a tuba.

Stevenson has become an expert in cleaning donated instruments that have sat in closets for decades. He can handle that. It's the next step of the process he needs help with.

These donations are for Bringing Music to Life. The program is in its 13th year of asking for donated instruments to give to underfunded schools. This year, they got more than 1,100 instruments, which is great news for the program.

"We still have a pile of brass instruments we haven’t gotten through back here yet," said Stevenson, walking through rows of instruments stacked on shelves to the ceiling in the warehouse behind his shop.

There's a complication, though.

"We don’t yet have enough applications from schools," said Steve Blatt, the program's executive director. "We just want to give these away to schools that need them."

As of Tuesday afternoon, 28 schools have applied.

Last year, they donated 684 instruments to 45 schools.

"We want to give everybody who has the desire and the determination the chance to play," Blatt said. "Even if they don’t have the means to rent or buy." 

Blatt and Stevenson said they believe the need is there, but they know teachers are busy. 

It takes less than an hour to apply for instruments at BringMusic.org, and applications are open to music teachers and principals until April 15.  When they get time to apply, the instruments will be ready to go.

"That would be the best news, to have empty shelves," Blatt said. 

They'll be ready for the process to start all over again. 

"You know you run it over with the school bus, we got you covered, things like that," Stevenson said, laughing.

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