Utah Public Radio (UPR) is hosting a campaign to collect playable musical instruments for children in communities around the state. Project Replay has been underway since March 15, and will continue through April 15, said Cathy Ives, general manager of UPR.
The purpose of Replay is simple: to give children the opportunity to own their own instrument, she said.
“The need for music in schools is always great, but with the budget cuts lately, this drive is extremely appreciated by educators this year,” Ives said.
The ultimate goal of Replay is to collect $100,000 in instruments for the Utah children. Ives said all donations are tax-deductible, and all instruments donated go to the school district of the community where the people who donate them live.
Ives started Project Replay in New Hampshire back in 1995. She worked there until 2000 before moving to Utah. Ives has done Project Replay in Cache Valley for the past two years, and collected $61,000 worth of instruments last year.
There are some heart-warming stories about donations from last year, Ives said. One of Ives’ favorites was when a Washington, D.C., public radio employee caught wind of the project and sent a high-quality flute. The other of Ives’ favorites was from an elderly gentleman whose wife had recently passed away. When he read about Project Replay, he felt it was a sign for him to donate his wife’s beloved flute that she’d had for more than 40 years, Ives said.
Ives has had conversations with Fred Child, host of “Performance Today,” the largest classical radio program in the country, and said Child liked the idea. Child plans on giving his support to this program, and encouraging every state to take part.
Along with Child, other prominent people in classical music are supporting this project, such as Nick Spitzer, Keith Lockhart, Michael Ballam, Blair Larsen, Fiona Ritchie and Peter Van de Graaff.
Teri Lewis, the executive director of the Cache education foundation, said last year’s drive was very beneficial to local students.
“Due to the success of last year’s project, many students in the valley were able to and excited to be able to utilize and participate in a worthwhile program,” Lewis said.
For more information on how to donate or if a donation is eligible for a tax reduction, those interested should call the nearest school district, Lewis said. They will appraise the instruments value if the donator wants to use it as a tax deduction. However, if the instrument is valued at more than $500, a professional appraiser is needed, she said.
Lewis said she urges people to donate.
“Everyone who has an instrument, they aren’t meant to sit in a closet, so look around and see what you have and be generous and donate to the districts that are in need,” Lewis said.