Steamboat Symphony Orchestra wraps up 19th season with week of events | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Symphony Orchestra wraps up 19th season with week of events

Nicole Inglis

The Steamboat Symphony Orchestra, led by Ernest Richardson, will host its spring concert at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Strings Music Pavilion.

Steamboat Symphony Orchestra events

Today

■ 6 to 8 p.m. Cooking class with Ben Stroock at The Drunken Onion Get & Go Kitchen. The cost is $40, and space is limited.

■ 7 to 8:30 p.m. Violin master class with Erik Peterson of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at Yampa Valley Electric Association. The event is free.

Friday

■ 6 p.m. Classical conversation and open rehearsal with the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra. Free but registration required.

Saturday

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■ 5 to 7 p.m. Encounter Event in a patron's private home. Entertainment by a brass quartet. The cost is $50 per person.

Sunday

■ 5:30 p.m. Steamboat Symphony Orchestra Spring Concert at Strings Music Pavilion. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and $10 for youths. Children younger than 12 are free. Fifteen students will be offered a free ticket and a chance to meet Richardson. Call 970-870-3223.

Tuesday

■ 7 p.m. Together in Concert featuring community members of all ages in the String Ensemble and Cello Choir at the Steamboat Christian Center. The cost is $5 per person, $10 per family at the door.

Call: 970-870-3223 for more information or to register for any events.

— Throughout the years, a few young classical musicians in the Steamboat Springs area have tread down a professional path, but to Steamboat Symphony Orchestra Musical Director Ernest Richardson, that is not the most important outcome of the orchestra's education outreach programs.

"What's more important is the number of students over time who have learned the language of music and will take that with them for the rest of their lives," he said. "That's a phenomenal gift. And now they can listen to a Tchaikovsky symphony and hear it on a level that's integral to who they are."

And all levels of music students — from virtuosos to casual listeners — will have the chance to learn that language this weekend.

The Steamboat Symphony Orchestra will present its spring concert at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Strings Music Pavilion. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for youths and free for children younger than 12. Groups of seniors from Routt and Moffat counties will be bused to the show for free, and there is the chance for 15 children to get free admission and a meet and greet with Richardson as a part of the program's outreach efforts.

The orchestra's presence in the community doesn't end with its marquee concerts, either.

Today marks the beginning of nearly a week of orchestra-related events featuring members of the group, its directors, patrons and the community benefiting from the educational programs.

Tonight, the Friends of the Symphony patrons present a cooking class with Ben Stroock, at 6 p.m. at The Drunken Onion Get & Go Kitchen. The cost is $40. At 7 p.m. today, a public violin master class will feature Colorado Symphony Orchestra violinist Erik Peterson. The free event is at the Yampa Valley Electric Association.

Friday marks a special occasion, when Richardson will precede an open orchestra rehearsal with a "classical conversation," a talk that delves into the understanding of the classical works that will be played Sunday.

Richardson said the talk will give an added depth to the concert and make for a more "visceral" experience.

"People seem to enjoy watching something in process," Richardson said. "That's what this is. It's a little bit like those chef shows, like, instead of having the dinner, you see how it is prepared and then you eat."

And he likes to think of his concerts as meals as well.

For the spring concert, the appetizer is a light but technical flute concerto in D minor by C.P.E. Bach, followed by a contemporary, Broadway-like piece by Kenji Bunch.

After the intermission comes the meat and potatoes of the concert: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4.

"It's really, really hard," Richardson said with a sigh and a laugh.

He had only four rehearsals to tackle the four-movement symphony. Mary Beth Norris, the orchestra's founder and a flautist, was enthusiastic about the challenging piece.

"It's really, really fantastic," she said. "And fantastic can sometimes be hard because you have to jump and dive and do flips, and it's everything people in Steamboat want to have, and now we can play it on our instruments."

Exhilarated by their accomplishment of such a hallmark piece of music, Norris said the orchestra has warmly welcomed Richardson's patient, straightforward, collaborative approach during the past four years.

Richardson said he doesn't know any other way of leading an ensemble and applies the same technique of collaboratively sharing a vision when he works with the community String Ensemble and Cello Choir, which comprise community members of all ages.

Those ensembles will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the first Together in Concert performance at the Steamboat Christian Center.

"It's bigger than any of us," Richardson said about the orchestra's community presence. "It's certainly bigger than me. It's somewhat about Tchaikovsky, and it's mostly about bringing this music to the community."

Steamboat Symphony Orchestra events

Today

■ 6 to 8 p.m. Cooking class with Ben Stroock at The Drunken Onion Get & Go Kitchen. The cost is $40, and space is limited.

■ 7 to 8:30 p.m. Violin master class with Erik Peterson of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at Yampa Valley Electric Association. The event is free.

Friday

■ 6 p.m. Classical conversation and open rehearsal with the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra. Free but registration required.

Saturday

■ 5 to 7 p.m. Encounter Event in a patron’s private home. Entertainment by a brass quartet. The cost is $50 per person.

Sunday

■ 5:30 p.m. Steamboat Symphony Orchestra Spring Concert at Strings Music Pavilion. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and $10 for youths. Children younger than 12 are free. Fifteen students will be offered a free ticket and a chance to meet Richardson. Call 970-870-3223.

Tuesday

■ 7 p.m. Together in Concert featuring community members of all ages in the String Ensemble and Cello Choir at the Steamboat Christian Center. The cost is $5 per person, $10 per family at the door.

Call: 970-870-3223 for more information or to register for any events.

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