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New band instruments, thanks to concert owner

The 10,000 Lakes Festival held annually at the Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes, is a celebration of musical creativity that features a wide range of genres, from blues and jazz to rock and reggae.

In its first four years of existence, the 10KLF has attracted fans from more than 40 states, to listen to and enjoy the kind of music rarely heard on commercial radio.

Conceived as a forum for music to be played and shared with friends for the sheer joy of it, the 10KLF's founding partners feel that "the early training of young musicians assures the continued exploration and enjoyment of music as an art form," said Chyrll Sparks, promotional director for Festivals and Concert Events, Inc., in a press release (FACE, Inc., operates both the 10,000 Lakes Festival and WE Fest).

In keeping with that philosophy, the 10,000 Lakes Festival has chosen the Detroit Lakes Public Schools Instrumental Music Program as one of the recipients of its charitable contributions in 2007.

Rand Levy, Minneapolis concert promoter and founder of the 10,000 Lakes Festival (in which he remains a partner), was at Monday night's Detroit Lakes High School Jazz Band Spring Concert to dedicate the instruments that were donated to DL schools this spring.

"The wonderful part about being able to give to a program like this is that it's tangible -- you can see (the effect it has)," Levy said in his remarks during the concert. "It's our ambition to continue to find ways to give back to the community."

The festival's financial contribution provided the Detroit Lakes Public Schools with a number of band instruments, which will be used for live performances, and loaned to students who cannot afford an instrument of their own.

Under this program, the DL schools purchased a full set of drums, a bass drum, a baritone saxophone, a clarinet and a flute, along with some percussion instruments like chimes, bongos, slapsticks, sleigh bells and a jam block. These instruments were distributed among the elementary, middle and high schools, according to the press release.

In an interview following the presentation, Levy expanded on his earlier remarks, noting, "Giving is an ongoing thing. It's an obligation all of us have to give back... and there are so many ways to do it."

In fact, Levy hopes that the festival can eventually help the DL music program to become self-sustaining, and extend its charitable efforts to help other schools in the area.

"There's always a reason to give," he said. "If we can have a legacy where we can consistently give back (to the community) ... that's a good legacy for the future."

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

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