Colorado is host to many unique nonprofits supporting music and making a positive impact in our communities, so with Colorado Gives Day coming up on Tuesday, December 6, we’ve highlighted some of the standouts. Not sure where your dollars will make a difference? Read on to find the organization that might be the perfect fit.
Youth on Record
Youth on Record is a social-justice and music-education organization working with at-risk youth in Denver. In addition to sending local professional musicians, rappers, poets and DJs into classrooms and treatment centers, Youth on Record also has a couple of very cool new programs operating right out of its own Youth Media Studio. The YOR Sessions give youth hands-on experience assisting professional engineers in the recording studio and recording artists like Twenty One Pilots, HoneyHoney and the Mountain Goats for an annual compilation that will continue to fund Youth on Record’s programs. SoundSeeds provides teens with the training and business skills to teach their own music lessons at Youth on Record’s studios, then offers affordable music lessons to the community. Youth on Record has a goal of raising $10,000 for Colorado Gives Day. As a bonus, the organization is running a contest for the band or musician who brings in the most donors; the winner gets four hours of recording time with an engineer at the Youth on Record studio. To donate, visit Youth on Record's website.
Harmony: A Colorado Chorale
The mission of Harmony Chorale is to embrace and inspire an inclusive community through song, by welcoming and representing gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight ally voices. Harmony was founded in 1991 around the time that Colorado voters approved Amendment 2, which made it legal to discriminate against people who identified as LGBTQ (and was later overturned). In 2017, the group is taking on its most ambitious project yet: “For the last year, we have been working to produce 'Tyler’s Suite' in June in the Broomfield area and at Gates Concert Hall on the DU campus,” says Bill Loper, Harmony’s artistic director. Harmony will also perform "Tyler’s Suite" in New York City, with Dr. Tim Seelig (of San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus) as guest director and the Colorado Hebrew Chorale joining. “Tyler’s Suite” is a collaborative work written in response to the suicide of Tyler Clementi, and explores the voices and experiences of Tyler and his family. Donate to Harmony Chorale here.
The Colorado Sound
The Colorado Sound (that's 105.5 FM) is a relative newcomer to the scene, operating under the umbrella of KUNC. Earlier this year, when KUNC transitioned to a 24-hour news station, the Colorado Sound was launched as a sister station broadcasting more of the music programming that KUNC listeners had come to love and expect.
Programmer Keefer Fulgham says, “An important component of what we do is highlight this incredible diverse and vibrant music scene in Colorado. If you think about the cities and states that have healthy music scenes, they have a station similar to the Colorado Sound that supports it. And not just a specialty show buried in the middle of the night, but one that makes its music scene a part of the station’s sonic identity. That’s part of our mission, to connect the dots from the artists who paved the way for the music of today and expose this incredible music being made in Colorado. So on Colorado Gives Day, if you give to 105.5 the Colorado Sound, that’s what you’re supporting.” Donate to the Colorado Sound here.
Keep reading for more organizations and nonprofits that could use some extra money come Colorado Gives Day.
Up Close and Musical
Up Close and Musical aims to engage middle- and high-school students with classical music by bringing workshops, clinics and performances to schools all over the Denver Metropolitan area. The organization was founded in 1989 by a Colorado Symphony cellist and a music-education advocate, and now Up Close and Musical operates as a classical ensemble of professional musicians who both teach and perform. In addition to performing in the schools, UCAM plays formal community concerts where the offerings range from small ensemble chamber music to collaborative, multimedia events incorporating dance, visual arts and music. Donate to Up Close and Musical here.
Love Hope Strength
Love Hope Strength is an organization dedicated to helping cancer patients with life-saving bone-marrow transplants; it does this by registering new donors at rock concerts and festivals like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits. The Denver-based group — which calls itself “the world’s leading rock-and-roll cancer foundation" — is gearing up for its ten-year anniversary in 2017. This Colorado Gives Day, “we would love to be able to raise at least $5,000 that will be used toward our festival season costs for 2017,” says executive director Natalie James. Donate at Love Hope Strength's website.
Opera on Tap Colorado
Opera on Tap Colorado is affiliated with the national organization, whose mission is to make opera more accessible by bringing it to unconventional venues like bars and tap rooms. For example, in November, it performed Opera’s Greatest Hits at Syntax on South Broadway. The idea is that if audiences see opera in a space where they are free to get just a bit uproarious, then opera becomes an art form that a wider audience can enjoy. Part of its mission is to support young performers and create opportunities for them to perform. Donate to Opera on Tap here.
More chorale, chamber and classical music organizations:
Colorado Bach Ensemble
Rocky Mountain Arts Association (Denver Gay Men’s Chorus, Denver Women’s Chorus and the Mosaic Youth Program)
Inside the Orchestra
Colorado Chamber Players
Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra
More youth-focused music organizations:
Young Musicians Foundation of Colorado
Young Voices of Colorado
Denver Young Artists Orchestra Association
CO Youth Symphony Orchestras
A Child’s Song
Colorado Children’s Chorale