The 2012 Bittner Flute has been awarded to Catalina Corvalan Frugone (pictured above), a 9th grader at Global Connections High School and the daughter of Alfredo Corvalan and Karen Frugone in SeaTac.
The award recognizes exceptional talent in a young flute player and was presented at the Rotary Club of Des Moines.
The Bittner Flute is a sterling silver Gemeinhardt instrument donated to the Highline Music4Life™  program by Nancy Bittner of Seattle’s University Sunrise Rotary Club. The recipient is selected annually by secondary school music teachers in Highline Public Schools on the basis of talent and long-term interest in studying music.
Catalina is a member of in the Global Connections Band. She will have use of the Bittner Flute for the 2012-13 school year. It will be re-acquired by Highline Music4Life next spring for any repairs and other maintenance that are needed over the summer. Highline music teachers will select the next year’s recipient next fall. Catalina will be eligible to compete for it again at that time as long as she is enrolled in Highline Public Schools.
Highline Music4Life acquires musical instruments, gets them repaired if needed, and donates them free of charge to Highline Public Schools for use by students of low income families. The program was created by the school board last spring and is sponsored in-part by the Rotary clubs of Des Moines, Burien-White Center and SeaTac.
“You don’t have to be a Rotarian to support Music4Life,” said David Endicott. “All that’s necessary is that you understand the unique value that instrumental music plays in the total education of a child.”
“Catalina consistently displays an excellent attitude and a willingness to work toward her goals,” Highline music teacher Lynetta Nelthropp added. “Last weekend, Catalina and her father were the first to arrive at the annual Christmas tree sale at 7 a.m. Catalina worked the entire day with a great attitude and a constant smile. Global Connections is lucky to have such a fine student.”
Besides the Highline program, Music4Life also operates programs supporting Seattle Public Schools and Shoreline Schools. The program acquires used instruments from the garages or attics of adults who understand that their highest and best use is to put them back into play. With adequate resources, Music4Life can also buy new musical instruments for school districts.
Currently, 75 percent of all fifth and sixth grade students in Highline Public Schools who participate in instrumental music programs are from families that are income-eligible. The Highline Music4Life™ initiative intends to assist half that number.
Music4Life enjoys the support of notable music advocates and other community leaders. Gerard Schwarz, world-renowned conductor laureate of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, endorsed the program, saying:
“This wonderful program begins with children in elementary school at a time when, if they’re interested and talented in any way, they have the greatest chance of success. Many people tell me of the impact that direct knowledge of instrumental music has had on their lives. We intend to give this advantage to all our children.”
For more information on Highline Music4Life, visit http://highlinemusic4life.org .