Opus Colorado

$2 Million to Support Graduate Scholarships in Music
July 3, 2014, 3:50 pm
Filed under: News

A $1 million commitment to the University of Denver from Chancellor Emeritus Daniel Ritchie will be matched by the University to provide a total of $2 million in scholarship support for graduate students in the Lamont School of Music.

The Jessie Dee Ritchie Endowed Graduate Scholarship Fund for Music is named in honor of Mr. Ritchie’s mother. “My mother was a singer before she met my father,” says Mr. Ritchie. “She introduced me to opera and instilled in me a love of music. I’m pleased that I can extend this appreciation to others and support promising young students.”

The gift will create scholarship funding for exceptionally talented graduate students studying in a variety of disciplines. Lamont is a performance-focused school, committed to providing excellent, innovative musical training, as well as the skills and experiences necessary for a successful career as a musician in a changing environment.

“We are thrilled to receive this gift from Mr. Ritchie,” says Nancy Cochran, director of the Lamont School of Music. “Increased graduate scholarship funding will enable Lamont to be more competitive on the national and international stage while elevating it to be one of the leading and most forward-thinking music schools.”

Mr. Ritchie’s vision and love for the arts helped to establish the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Performing Arts on the University of Denver campus. This paved the way for the Lamont School of Music to return to campus in 2002 from its Park Hill location. In 2013, he made the largest single donation in the University’s history to name the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science in honor of his father. Mr. Ritchie served as the University’s chancellor for 16 years between 1989 and 2005 and as chairman of the Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2007.

Support for scholarships was a hallmark of the recently completed $480-million ASCEND campaign, resulting in 576 new scholarships. Many gifts to scholarships were matched dollar-for-dollar through a scholarship matching program and a separate performing arts matching program.

Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is committed to improving the human condition and engaging students and faculty in tackling the major issues of our day. In 2014, the University of Denver will celebrate its sesquicentennial with a full calendar of events and programs that not only honor the institution’s 150-year commitment to serving students, the community and the public good, but that look forward to a future of continued achievement and innovation. The University of Denver ranks among the top 100 national universities in the U.S. For additional information, subscribe to The University of Denver Newsfeed, visit the sesquicentennial website or follow the University on Facebook and Twitter.

Denver Young Artists Orchestra announces new Executive Director
June 30, 2014, 10:49 am
Filed under: News

Sue Oakes, President of the DYAO Board of Directors, sent the following exciting notification:

I’m extremely pleased to announce that, following a national search by the board of directors, Kelly Waltrip has accepted our offer to become the next Executive Director of Denver Young Artists Orchestra, succeeding Pete Hellyer.

Kelly comes to DYAO from her current position as General Manager of the Lexington Philharmonic in Lexington, Kentucky, where she has been employed for the past five years. In that role she is responsible for artistic planning, operations, production, personnel and other key areas of orchestral administration. Previously she held administrative positions with the Aspen Music Festival, the Music Center of South Central Michigan and the Detroit Symphony, among others.

Kelly grew up in a musical family in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and majored in music at Western Michigan University studying piano and communications.  She also holds a Certificate in Arts Management from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She and her husband, Jason, are delighted to be moving to the Denver area, where his parents and other family now live.

Kelly will formally begin her job at DYAO in late July and work side-by-side with Pete, Wes Kenney and the rest of our wonderful staff on planning and preparation for the 2014-2015 season. We are incredibly fortunate that Pete has given us so much lead time before moving forward with his plans to start a new school for young musicians in the Denver area. In addition, Pete will continue to work closely with DYAO on a part-time contract basis ensure a smooth transition.

Please join me in welcoming Kelly to the DYAO family and in once again wishing Pete all the best as he embarks on his new venture. All of us look forward to another great season for DYAO in the year ahead and to providing our young players with an outstanding musical and educational experience.

Boulder Music Institute Announces Boutique Summer Program for Emerging Opera Singers
June 19, 2014, 9:32 am
Filed under: News

July 14 through July 18, 2014

The business of opera is changing at a rapid rate and young singers are facing challenges greater than ever before. In this fast-paced environment, young artists are expected to be impeccable musicians, technicians, actors, and business people right at the start of their careers. Taking on the mission to help singers prepare for the rigors of opera in today’s world, the Boulder Music Institute, a boutique summer program in Boulder, Colorado, is opening its doors on July 14, 2014, for a week’s worth of voice lessons, vocal coaching, character and musical development, and public events and performances. This program offers a comprehensive experience and personalized approach for emerging singers—and singers of any age—who are serious about developing their voice and their craft.

“Our primary goal for the Boulder Music Institute is to provide singers with tools to help them build a foundation for success,” said Carrie-Ann Matheson, the vocal coach for the Boulder Music Institute. “Of course, first and foremost, they must be able to sing well,” said Matheson, an assistant conductor, pianist, and prompter at the Metropolitan Opera who has worked closely with some of the brightest stars in opera, including Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, and Jonas Kaufmann. Beginning August 2014, Matheson will be taking a one-year leave of absence from the Met Opera to join the conducting and coaching staff at the Opernhaus Zürich. Later this summer, she is also scheduled to assist Fabio Luisi, principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, with a production of “Falstaff” at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan.

Lauren Sawyer, founder of the Boulder Music Institute, is the primary voice teacher for the program. Sawyer, a dramatic soprano and accomplished vocal technician, runs a voice studio, Boulder Classical Voice, in Boulder, Colorado, and New York City, where her students have been finalists in international competitions, such as The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and are singing in major opera houses that include Washington National Opera, New York Lyric Opera, and Central City Opera. She knows first-hand how competitive world of opera is and understands how easily singers’ careers can get derailed when they don’t have the right mentors, proper training, and adequate performance experience.

Students enrolled in the Boulder Music Institute’s inaugural week will benefit from the tight working relationship between Sawyer and Matheson. “Carrie-Ann and I will be working closely together so we can identify issues that need to be addressed with our singers,” said Sawyer. “Our collaboration will be seamless and our feedback immediate so our students can realize marked improvement to their overall singing ability and performance presentation before the week ends.”
In addition to the week’s offerings of voice lessons and vocal coaching, Megan Marino, Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano, will present a workshop called “Bridging the Professional Gap,” which will focus on helping singers prepare for young artist program auditions and know what to expect after landing the job. Marino will review and edit participants’ marketing materials, offer guidance in writing form emails, give pointers on how to dress, and discuss repertoire variety for audition lists. Singers will perform a mock audition at the end of the day that will be open to the public. One select singer from this workshop will be chosen to perform in the Boulder Music Institute’s public concert on Friday, July 18, with Lauren Sawyer, Megan Marino, and Carrie-Ann Matheson.

There are a variety of ways to participate in the offerings of the Boulder Music Institute. Students can enroll for the entire week to receive three voice lessons from Sawyer, three coachings from Matheson, and have access to all the lectures and master classes. Or they can elect to take individual lessons and have vocal coachings, where time in the schedule allows, and participate in the workshop presented by Megan Marino.
Events and performances, open to the public, are scheduled throughout the week:

Monday, July 14, “The Audition,” First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street, Boulder, 7:30 p.m., free.
• Watch the “The Audition,” a documentary, directed by Emmy award winner Susan Froemke.
• Hear Boulder Music Institute’s founder, Lauren Sawyer, discuss the institute’s vision.
• Hear Galen Otten, Fairview graduate and Eastman School of Music incoming freshman, perform.
• Meet and greet Carrie-Ann Matheson of The Metropolitan Opera.

Tuesday, July 15, Pursuing an Opera Career, First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street, Boulder, 7:30 p.m., free.
• Q&A on anything and everything you want to know about a career in opera with Carrie-Ann Matheson of The Metropolitan Opera.
Wednesday, July 16, Public Master Class, First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street, Boulder, 7:30 p.m., free.
• Public master class with Carrie-Ann Matheson and select student singers enrolled in Boulder Music Institute.

Thursday, July 17, Bridging the Professional Gap, First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street, Boulder, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $345.
• To register, contact Lauren Sawyer at sawyer.lauren@gmail.com.

Friday, July 18, Performance, First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street, Boulder, 7:30 p.m.
• Public performance with Carrie-Ann Matheson, Megan Marino, Lauren Sawyer, and select student singers.
• $20 adult, $15 student/senior, $10 child.

For more information about the Boulder Music Institute, visit http://www.BoulderMusicInstitute.com.


Boulder Bach Festival Appoints Zachary Carrettin as Resident Music Director
June 6, 2014, 6:29 am
Filed under: News

New position provides year-round presence and enhances area collaborations

The Boulder Bach Festival Board of Directors has appointed Zachary Carrettin, noted violinist and conductor, to be the resident music director, effective for three years, starting July 1, 2014. This newly created position provides Boulder Bach with year-round local leadership and visibility and enhances the collaborative activities initiated by Carrettin, now completing his inaugural year as music director. Carrettin has served as concertmaster and soloist for Boulder Bach since 2011 and is co-directing the festival’s baroque performance practice summer program from June 9 to June 12, 2014.

“Boulder Bach is extremely fortunate to bring Zachary’s level of expertise to the region,” said Dan Seger, president, Boulder Bach Festival Board of Directors. “A three-year commitment will allow us to continue to raise the bar on our traditional concert performances, while we move into exciting new territories through collaborations and expanded educational opportunities.”

For the past three years, Carrettin has captured audience attention with his baroque violin artistry and technique and his leadership of the Boulder Bach Players. He has collaborated with CU College of Music faculty and appeared in concerts with artists and musicians on the Front Range. His strengths as an educator will continue to enrich Boulder Bach’s educational offerings for young music students, semi-professionals, amateur adult musicians, and the community at large.

“Zachary is a master of making his knowledge of early music history and performance relevant to the 21st Century, as he showed in the collaboration with 3rd Law Dance/Theater, in March, for the opening performances of Boulder’s first arts week,” said Seger. “He played unaccompanied Bach on electric violin amidst dancers without compromising the quality or integrity of the music. This was a new experience for Boulder audiences. Two sold-out performances tell me that our community wants more.”

Fully committed to establishing roots in Boulder, with his move here later this summer, Carrettin will leave his position as Director of Orchestras at Sam Houston State University.

“The trails, the food culture, and the creative people of Boulder contribute to its remarkable ability to inspire,” said Carrettin. “My wife, pianist Mina Gajic, and I look forward to getting to know more people in Boulder from all walks of life, as we establish our studios, work on our own research projects, record, and perform here and elsewhere.”

About the Boulder Bach Festival

The Boulder Bach Festival, founded in 1981, celebrates the music of Johann Sebastian Bach by providing high quality performances and educational opportunities that not only satisfy those who already love Bach’s music, but also introduce Bach’s music to others. It is the premier festival in the Rocky Mountain Region dedicated to the propagation of the legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach. For information, visit http://www.boulderbachfestival.org.

Project Youth & Chamber Music Announces Third Annual Off the Hook Chamber Music Festival
June 4, 2014, 7:54 am
Filed under: News

Fort Collins, CO – Jephta Bernstein, Founder and Executive Artistic Director of PYCH: Project Youth and Chamber Music announces the third season of Off the Hook Chamber Music Festival, June 10-22, 2014. Set in the idyllic landscape of Fort Collins, Colorado, the summer chamber festival features world-class professional musicians from Colorado with consumm ate artist, pianist Anne-Marie McDermott.

Internationally renowned New York composer, Bruce Adolphe, returns as Co-Artistic Director hosting concerts and speaking on his new book, The Mind’s Ear. Highlights of the twelve-day program include a Suzuki & the Fiddler Summer Violin Camp and a Not For Children Only Concert Series where students are encouraged to “bring their own grownup”. Sunday Chamber Music performances, seminars and a week-end of piano, round out the festivities.

Our ending week-end of piano reveling, June 20 – 22, features the dynamic Anne-Marie McDermott, in a solo piano PYCH benefit concert; open to the community, a Pianoathon, inviting all ages, all abilities, all styles, solo or ensemble, to perform in a 12 hour event, benefiting FoCo Café and Respite Care; and our final Sunday Chamber Music Concert, featuring Bruce Adolphe at the piano.

An additional highlight on June 16th is a symposium on Creativity: Imagination in the Arts and Everyday Life, moderated by Bruce Adolphe. Honored panelists include: award-winning author and activist, Dr. Temple Grandin; Dr. Michael Hoffmann, Caltech James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science; acclaimed poet and critic, Dr. Dan Beachy-Quick; and former Fort Collins native, choreographer to Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Lady Gaga, 1 Direction, turned environmental activist, Tony Testa. The symposium is free and open to the public.

Off the Hook blends music of today and yesterday in interactive and thought provoking ways. Concerts appeal to audience members of all ages and various walks of life. For more information on PYCH programming, events and a full list of educators and artists presenting at the festival, please visit: http://www.projectchambermusic.org or contact Executive Artistic Director, Jephta Bernstein, 512-825-4122.

Off the Hook Chamber Music Festival Calendar 2014

All events located St. John’s Lutheran Church, 305 E. Elizabeth St., Fort Collins, CO, unless otherwise noted.

June 10 – 12, Suzuki & the Fiddler: A Summer Violin Camp
9:00 – 2:00pm, $90

Tuesday, June 10, Not for Children Only Concert Series: Bring Your Own Grown-up
Catch The Criminal: How is Mozart’s g minor Piano Quartet Like a Courtroom Trial? Hosted by Bruce Adolphe. 5:30PM. $7 adults, kids free.

Thursday, June 12, Suzuki &The Fiddler Outdoor Shindig
Oak Street Plaza, Fort Collins. 3:45 – 4:45PM. Free.

Friday, June 13, Channeling The Mind’s Ear: a discussion and musical performance
Featuring, Bruce Adolphe
Harmony Library in the Round. Harmony and Shields Street. 7:00pm. Free.

Sunday, June 15, Chamber Concert I: Counterpoint/Counterparts: Baroque Concertos and New-Fangled Reactions
4:00PM, $15 for adults, $5 students under 12

Monday, June 16, Creativity Symposium: Imagination in the Arts and Everyday Life
Panel includes: CSU Professors Temple Grandin (CSU Professor of Animal Behavioral Sciences and author of The Autistic Brain), Dr. Michael Hoffmann (Caltech Professor of Environmental Sciences) and Dan Beachy-Quick (award winning Colorado poet, CSU Professor), Tony Testa (LA based choreographer turned environmentalist) with moderator, Bruce Adolphe.
4:00- 6:30pm, CSU University Center for the Arts, Organ Recital Hall, 1800 Remington Street, Fort Collins. Free.

Tuesday, June 17, Not for Children Only Concert Series: Bring Your Own Grown-Up
Tough Turkey in the Big City: A Feathered Tale
5:30pm. $7 adults, kids free!

Wednesday, June 18, Molto Espress(iv)o: A Musical Discussion with Bruce Adolphe
Everyday Joe’s, 144 S Mason St, 8:30 – 9:30am. Free.

Wednesday, June 18, Improvisation Workshop with Bruce Adolphe
2:30 – 4:45PM, Location TBD. $10

Thursday, June 19, House Soiree
Denver private home, 7:00pm; call Jephta Bernstein for more information. $25

Friday, June 20, Anne Marie McDermott Benefit Recital
All proceeds support PYCH: Project Youth and Chamber Music 7:00PM. $40

Saturday, June 21, Pianoathon.
Play what you can, pay what you can….all ages, all abilities, all styles, solo or ensemble, to perform in a 12 hour event, benefiting FoCo Café and Respite Care. Sign up for 15 min time slots at WEBSITE
9AM – 9PM. Suggested donation, $5 or more.

Sunday, June 22, Chamber Music Concert II: A FEASTIVAL OF MUSIC
Tough Turkey in the Big City: A Feathered Tale
4:00PM. $15 adults, $5 children under 12


Stunning artistry: The St. Martin’s Chamber Choir

It seems fitting that the St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, under the direction of Maestro Timothy Krueger, should finish their twentieth season with one of the best performances they have ever given. Friday evening, May 30, they performed a program entitled Antiphonal Echoes which featured music written for multiple choirs. This was a particularly effective program not only because of the skill of the musicians, but because of the venue: Montview Presbyterian Church on Dahlia Street and Montview Boulevard. The acoustics are absolutely perfect for this kind of a concert.

Maestro Krueger opened the program with a medieval sequence entitled Profitentes Unitatem which has been attributed to Adam of St. Victor who died in 1192. To understand what a sequence is, you must first understand what a trope is, because a sequence is a special kind of trope. A trope is a textual addition to parts of the Roman Mass that is used to amplify textual passages. For example, if the text says, “Lord, have mercy upon us” then the trope might be (I have indicated the trope in italics), “Lord, omnipotent Father, God, Creator of all, have mercy upon us.” The most frequently troped sections of the Mass were the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and Benedicamus Domino. The sequence, as I say above, was a special kind of trope. Each strophe of text is followed by another of the same length and meter, and both are sung to the same melodic segment which is repeated for the second strove. First and last verses do not have parallels, so the structure of a sequence could possibly be A BB CC DD E. Sequences were developed around the year 870 by Notker Balbulus, and Adam of St. Victor was one of the masters of the form. Eventually all tropes and sequences were abolished by the Council of Trent (1545-1563) except for four, two of which are the well-known Dies Irae and the Stabat Mater.

When the St. Martin’s Choir began to sing, the sound filled the entire church. Krueger had divided the choir into four parts: one in each transept, one at the rear of the church, and one at the front. The antiphonal effect was absolutely startling because it was so well defined and yet because the choirs blended so well together. It reminded me very much of a choir rehearsal that I had serendipitously stumbled upon in the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. Certainly, the scale was smaller in Montview Presbyterian, but the effect was just as stunning. It was certainly enhanced by the vocal precision of the four choirs. They were perfectly in tune with each other and their diction was remarkable. I don’t know if Maestro Krueger chose this piece as first on the program because he anticipated the attention that it would bolster from the audience, but the effect was immediate. There was a good-sized audience in attendance, and they simply sat and listened very carefully to this performance.

Following the Profitentes Unitatem, Brett Kostrzewski, who is the Mark Sheldon conducting intern with St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, conducted a polyphonic anthem entitled, O Clap Your Hands, by Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) the great English composer, and a poly-choric motet by Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1612) entitled Quam Pulchra Est. Kostrzewski is a fine conductor whose conducting style is quite vigorous and very demanding. The choir was divided into two parts, and each portion was put in a transept of the church. Though his conducting technique differs greatly from Timothy Krueger’s, Kostrzewski achieved the same goal: authenticity. He truly seemed to relish the sound of this period of music, and I must say that both choirs responded to him enthusiastically and gave him exactly what he wanted. I wondered if there were any musicology students in the audience simply because the comparison of Orlando Gibbons and Giovanni Gabrieli was very interesting, and very well-defined. In many ways, Gibbons is a more harmonically colorful than the more staid Gabrieli, and that is what Kostrzewski drew attention to: the difference between English and Italian composers. It was terrific.

One of the most outstanding works on the program was composed by Terry Schlenker, a member of the St. Martin’s Chamber Choir. I will quote from a bio statement that I obtained from his website:

“Terry Schlenker studied music composition at the University of North Dakota and at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, from which he holds a Master of Art’s Degree in Composition. A composer of many orchestral, piano, and chamber works, Schlenker has focused much of his recent energy on a cappella choral music. His choral works are widely recorded, published, and have been performed internationally on five continents. Many of his pieces are regularly heard on the National Public Radio Network, where he has been featured on the programs of Colorado Matters, Colorado Spotlight, Sacred Classics, and Classical Discoveries. His works have been performed at the national conventions of Chorus America and ACDA (The American Choral Director’s Association), at the International Festival of GALA Choruses, and at the National Choral Festival. For Schlenker, to compose music is not to engage in an esoteric, intellectual exercise, but to articulate beauty, to express his deepest self, and to make a connection with the spiritual, both for himself and for others.

“An embryologist by profession, Schlenker co-founded and for 12 years directed one of the most successful human in-vitro fertilization laboratories in the world. Several years ago he partially retired, in order to focus more time on composing music. He continues to work part- time as an embryologist and consultant in embryology, and frequently speaks internationally on the topic.”

The work that St. Martin’s performed was entitled In Paradisum which Terry Schlenker wrote in memory of his recently deceased father. This was a World Premiere, and it demonstrated Schlenker’s ability to write for a cappella choir. I have heard many avant-garde compositions for choir, and many seem to combine the same concept of sound with barely nontraditional harmonies. Terry Schlenker’s work is always startlingly original, and displays unique erudition, not only in harmony, but in the colors that are available from human voices. Maestro Krueger performed this work in a very touching and emotional way, as if reassuring Schlenker that he is one of their own. It was beautifully done, and its originality demanded the rapt attention from the audience.

Following the intermission, St. Martin’s Chamber Choir performed a work which Maestro Krueger called a Missa Pastiche. It was the six sung portions of the ordinary of the mass: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and the Benedictus, though in Friday’s performance the order of the Agnus Dei and Benedictus were reversed so that the Agnus Dei was last. Krueger used the word “pastiche” to indicate that each of these six sections were in different styles because they were composed by different composers. I was struck by Krueger’s choice of composers, because everything in this Missa Pastiche fit so very well together. It was a natural flow of the history of music that was so well done that the ear was never jarred by difference in styles. And it was in this work that St. Martin’s Chamber Choir truly seemed to excel. One of the choices that Maestro Krueger made was the composer Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842). Aside from being known as a composer, Cherubini was also known as the director of the Paris Conservatory. However, during his lifetime, he was much admired by his contemporaries, and as Krueger pointed out, particularly Beethoven, because of his remarkable skill as a contrapuntalist. He also had an amazing ability to combine a passionate dramatic impulse with the discipline of religious contemplation. His ability at such a versatile combinations, led to his great success with his opera Médée, in which he combines the character of the Greek mythological sorceress who murders her children in an unimaginable rage, with an overpowering sense of humanity.

In this Credo by Luigi Cherubini, the choir allowed the flow of the counterpoint to govern the structure of the piece in such a way as to remind one of a truly fine symphony orchestra. The attacks of each entrance of the canons and fugues were incredibly smooth. So smooth, in fact, that the choir seemed not to take a breath, and I found myself listening to see if they actually did breathe while they performed this Credo. This entire Missa Pastiche was performed in this way, but was made truly obvious in the Cherubini. It was some of the finest singing that I have heard, and it is certainly reflective of the musical imagination, not only of everyone in the St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, but certainly of Maestro Timothy Krueger. The sound surrounded the entire audience so that it became almost ethereal.

This performance received a very well-deserved standing ovation, and, I state again, that it was a concert in which the audience remained silent during the entire performance, as engrossed as they were in its flawlessness. There was absolutely no evidence of microphones to record this concert, and that is a great disappointment. It was wonderfully done, and it was an intense musical experience.

Third-grade composers to join the Colorado Symphony this Saturday and Sunday
May 29, 2014, 3:16 pm
Filed under: News

Introducing the Very Young Composers

New education program encourages expression, literacy; featured by Associated Press

DENVER — May 28, 2014 – The Colorado Symphony is thrilled to introduce the Very Young Composers with two special performances this weekend. On Saturday, May 31 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, June 1 at 1 pm, an ensemble of CSO musicians will perform original compositions written by third-grade students at Cole Arts & Science Academy in northeast Denver. These performances will take place on stage at Boettcher Concert Hall as the kick-off to the anticpated Weekend of Star Wars program. Lawrence Loh will conduct an ensemble of CSO musicians including Catherine Beeson, assistant principal viola; Brook Ferguson, principal flute; John Hilton, violin; John Kinzie, principal percussion; Jessica Mays, piano; and Helen McDermott, viola. Student composers will join the orchestra on stage.

The Very Young Composers was featured in an Associated Press video feature and story last week.

Launched in February with a pilot at Cole Arts & Science Academy, a Title 1 school in Denver’s Five Points neighobrhood, the Colorado Symphony’s Very Young Composers program pairs professional musicians with music teachers to facilitate creative storytelling and music-making by children. After weeks of intensive classroom work, children’s compositions are transcribed, scored and performed by professional musicians. The program is built on a philosophy that all children are capable of creating music, despite their level of experience or skill. The Very Young Composers aligns with Common Core standards in Language and Literacy, including listening and writing.

Originally developed in Denver by former CSO conductor-in-residence Jon Deak, a recently retired bassist with the New York Philharmonic, the Very Young Composers is currently active at thirtheen middle and high school students in New York City, as well as in cities across the world, including Vail, Helsinki, Caracas, London and Seoul. The Colorado Symphony partnered with Deak, the New York Philharmonic and the Denver-based Playground Ensemble to incorporate the program into its educational offerings, which include Youth Concerts, in-school programs, professional development. The Colorado Symphony serves more than 30,000 students from across Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West each year.

The Colorado Symphony will expand the program at Cole Arts & Science Academy in the 2014/15 school year, and to offer it to schools in Denver Public Schools and beyond in coming years. The Colorado Symphony’s Very Young Composers was launched with support from the Denver Foundation and a generous individual donor.


The Colorado Symphony performs more than 150 concerts during its regular season at Boettcher Concert Hall and on location throughout the state and region. 2013/14 season highlights include appearances by virtuoso violinists Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell, and classical pianists Natasha Paremski and Stephen Hough. This season’s Pops and Classic Rock series feature rock greats, iconic film scores and Broadway blockbusters. The Holiday, Family and Inside the Score series offer musical favorites, captivating collaborations and interactive concerts for music lovers of all ages. For more about the Colorado Symphony visit http://www.coloradosymphony.org.



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