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Airwaves, a listener publication from Colorado Public Radio.

TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2012

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With summer just around the corner, it's almost time for “Summerfest,” CPR’s annual celebration of classical music festivals featuring live broadcasts, program specials and ticket giveaways throughout the summer.

This year’s expanded lineup of “Summerfest” programs gives listeners a variety of options to enjoy Colorado’s classical music community and the world-class musicians performing at summer festivals across the state. 

Now through August, listen to CPR’s classical music service to experience the summer music festival season. The first live broadcast of “Summerfest” begins on June 24 with opening night of the Colorado Music Festival at Chautauqua Auditorium, followed by the July 7 performance of “La Bohème” from the historic Central City Opera House.

View the Classical Events Calendar for a complete listing of summer events and stay tuned to CPR for more information on “Summerfest.” 

Photo credit: Flickr user memeticfield.

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Every once in a while, listeners call or write to tell us they heard a story on CPR that moved them, sometimes to tears, sometimes to action. Fred Solheim falls into the latter category. 

A little over a year ago, Fred was listening to Reporter and "Colorado Matters" Producer Zachary Barr share the story of Mark Litynski, a marine who returned from the war in Afghanistan with significant injuries that required specialized therapy. Part of Mark’s therapy included a trip to Vail to learn to ski, which was chronicled in “Wounded Vets Take to Skiing.” After hearing the story, Fred was inspired to help veterans like Mark recover and reintegrate back into civilian life. 

“Mark was high-spirited, optimistic and forward-looking, in spite of having lost both legs and the lower part of his arm just a few months before,” said Fred. “I was impressed. He was inspirational.”

Fred decided to start Warriors on Cataract, a non-profit organization that takes veterans on rafting trips down the Colorado River. “I just thought, give these guys a challenge  that’s difficult for them but they’re pretty sure they can accomplish it, and that’s a big boost to them…so they  can overcome their disabilities."

When Zachary learned of Fred’s story, he was reminded of radio’s  potential to bring people together, commenting, “That’s one of the great things about radio. It has the power to connect people in unexpected ways." 

Fred will have a chance to connect with Mark in person as he and his wife join Warriors on Cataract for a rafting trip in June.

Photo: This veteran and his dog take a paddle break during a recent Warriors on Cataract trip. Photo credit:, Eric Odenthal.

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CPR’s Annual Instrument Drive ended in March, but work to place most of the 760 donated instruments in schools is just beginning. Even with the help of our partners at The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and the Colorado Institute of Musical Instrument Technology (CIOMIT), it takes a significant effort to get instruments into classrooms by the fall.

CIOMIT technicians have been repairing as many instruments as possible so they will be in the best playable condition when they are awarded to schools. This process requires tens of thousands of dollars and is paid for in part by generous donations from individuals and foundations, including The Clinton Family Fund, David and Ann Necker, The Lloyd David & Carlye Cannon Wattis Foundation, The Denver Foundation and RLC Foundation, a donor-advised fund of Rose Community Foundation. 

CPR’s Director of Community Programs Steve Blatt stresses, “The work we do to promote music education in Colorado simply would not be possible without community support both during and after the instrument drive. It takes a lot of resources to refurbish donated instruments so they are in good condition when schools receive them. And we’re grateful for the individuals and organizations that have made generous contributions to help keep the music alive. 

As instruments are being repaired, CPR is working with The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to review applications submitted by schools in early spring. CPR will announce the schools that have been selected to receive instruments over the next few months. 

Photo: A CIOMIT technician gives careful attention to a donated French horn.

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Hundreds of businesses and organizations from many different industries underwrite CPR as a way to support the Colorado community. One of these proud sponsors is Faction Media, a digital marketing agency located in Denver.

Faction Media Founder Aaron Batte says there are many advantages to supporting CPR, including the ability to raise awareness about other non-profit organizations his business partners with. Aaron also notes, “An added benefit is that our employees experience a lot of pride when they hear our support for CPR. In fact, it’s even helped bring in new talent and we certainly appreciation CPR’s commitment to the community.”

Aaron lists General Assignment Reporter Megan Verlee as his favorite CPR voice and also enjoys listening to RadioLab and “This American Life” with host Ira Glass.  

Photo: Aaron Batte. Photo credit: Faction Media. 

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