Bittner Flute Awarded to Arts & Academics Academy Senior Kia Hang


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Des Moines Rotarian Steve Swank, right, presented the Bittner Flute to Kia Hang, a senior at Arts and Academics Academy, on Wednesday. The sterling silver Bittner Flute is awarded annually to an exceptional student by Highline Music4Life. On the left is Stefan Nelson, Highline Public Schools Cultural Arts Director.

The 2013-13 Bittner Flute has been awarded to Kia Hang, a senior at the Arts & Academics Academy in Highline Public Schools, and the daughter of Ah Cha and Sou Hang of White Center.

The award recognizes exceptional talent in a young flute player and was presented Wednesday 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.

Kia is a four-year arts student with a 4.0 GPA and sits first chair in the band’s flute section. She also participates in choir. She will have use of the Bittner Flute for the 20132-14 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.

Highline Music4LifeTM acquires musical instruments, gets them repaired if needed, and provides them free of charge to Highline Public Schools for use by students of low income families. The program was created by the school board three years ago 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, President/CEO of Music4Life. “All that’s necessary is that you understand the unique value that instrumental music plays in the total education of a child.”

“Kia consistently displays an excellent attitude and a willingness to work toward her goals,” added her music teacher Gerald Carrell. “She’s an all-around artist, having transcribed a piece for her band’s upcoming concert and she draws fabulously. It’s easy to understand why she’s excelling at the Arts & Academics Academy.”

Besides the Highline program, Music4Life also operates programs supporting Edmonds, Seattle and Shoreline Public 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 use by low income students in these school districts.

Currently, 75 percent of all fifth and sixth grade students in Highline Public Schools are from families that are income-eligible. The Highline Music4LifeTM 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.”

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