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Airwaves, a listener publication from Colorado Public Radio.


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CPR’s third Annual Instrument Drive kicks off today and runs through March 17. Join us and help keep music alive by bringing your gently-used band and orchestra instruments to one of 10 drop-off locations in Denver, Boulder, Golden and Grand Junction. 

Drop off your instrument at CPR on Donation Day, March 7, for a tour of the CPR studios, refreshments and an opportunity to meet some of the voices behind CPR. 

In the last two years, CPR has distributed over 1,000 musical instruments to more than 40 Colorado schools, ensuring that thousands of students will have the opportunity to participate in music education programs for generations to come. Watch a video to see how the instrument drive has made a difference. 

Instruments donated during the drive will be distributed to Colorado schools that have the capacity to support a successful music education program, the majority of which are designated as Title One schools. Find out if your school is eligible and apply for instruments at

If you don’t have an instrument but want to help, please consider sending a donation to: 

Instrument Drive Fund
Colorado Public Radio
7409 South Alton Court 
Centennial, CO 80112

Photo: A fifth grader from Barney Ford Elementary warms up a donated instrument for a recording in CPR’s studio. Photo credit: The Denver Post.

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Classical Music Host David Rutherford joined CPR in 2005, but hasn’t always had a career behind the microphone. He came to CPR as an experienced music educator, recognized for his teaching ability by several institutions, including the National Symphony Orchestra, which honored him as a National Teacher Fellow.  

“My goal as an educator and as a classical music host has always been the same,” said David. “I want to connect people to music and music to people.” 

Throughout his career, David has been committed to helping people discover classical music, adding that there’s a big difference when children are exposed to music at an early age. “Kids interact with music more directly than adults. It’s very genuine and unselfconscious. As a teacher, I have always worked hard to give students the tools they need to make music on their own.”

Teachers often play a major role in developing music appreciation, which can have a life-long impact on many students. As David points out, “Music education gives kids a sense of independence and confidence that allows them to be involved in music for the rest of their lives, both in ensembles and in the audience, which is one of the reasons that teaching music can be so rewarding.”

Join David on CPR’s classical music service weekdays from 3-7 p.m. and Sundays from 6-10 a.m. for “Sacred Classics.”

Photo: David Rutherford.

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Journalists face some interesting challenges when it comes to reporting the news and as Education Reporter Jenny Brundin notes, it can be a bit of a balancing act to incorporate all the facts and figures with the compelling details that bring a story to life.

“As a reporter, it’s important to use different types of information to provide context and clarity, but I try to make sure there’s a good mix,” said Jenny. “I end up analyzing data, interviewing students, teachers and administrators, and researching potential causes and solutions to problems that impact the entire education system to help listeners understand the big picture.” 

This month, Jenny will participate in a workshop sponsored by the Education Writers Association that focuses on data analysis for education reporters. “Diving Into Data” gives journalists an opportunity to explore topics like teacher-turnover rates in local schools, the relationship between students’ family backgrounds and high school graduation rates, and which schools are beating the demographic odds in student learning growth.

“This workshop will sharpen my ability to analyze complex data, which I think will allow me to ask better questions and be more innovative as a reporter,” said Jenny. “With more experience in data analysis, I’ll be able to find pieces of information and pockets of insight that identify trends and provide a better understanding of education here in Colorado.” 

Jenny joined CPR as education reporter in July 2011 after spending 16 years at KUER in Salt Lake City where she was part of a five-person newsroom, covering many different topics, including immigration, business and health care. 

Listen for Jenny’s in-depth reports on education in Colorado in the coming months, including a series investigating turnaround schools in Colorado, and nationally. 

Photo: Jenny Brundin. 

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Alumni and supporters of the University of Colorado, Boulder, are scattered throughout the state, so underwriting CPR’s statewide network of news and music stations is a great way for the university to stay connected to the CU community. 

“CPR enables us to communicate with our stakeholders in every corner of Colorado and keep them updated about all the initiatives the university is involved with, many of which are advancing the economy, culture and health of Colorado and the nation,” said Jon Leslie, assistant director of strategy and brand at CU-Boulder. 

“There are a lot of exciting things happening on our campus, from research efforts impacting the economy to new academic programs shaping the future of CU-Boulder,” said Jon. “Supporting CPR helps us ensure that members of the CU community know about the things happening in Boulder, even though they live outside the metro-area.”

Jon lists News Host Anna Panoka as his favorite CPR voice, and also listens to NPR’s “All Things Considered” with Robert Siegel regularly. 

Photo: A view of the Flatirons from the University of Colorado, Boulder campus. Photo credit: University of Colorado, Boulder.