Valerie Powell: Strings in Steamboat features Canadian vocalist |

Valerie Powell: Strings in Steamboat features Canadian vocalist

Valerie Powell/For the Steamboat Today

Canadian vocalist Mark Masri performs Friday at Strings Music Festival.

— At the heart of Strings Music Festival's season, we've got music that will reach to your core. Your spirit is sure to stir with a highly engaging youth and family concert, another stellar vocalist and the best of chamber music this week.

We know that the environment is a popular concern here in Colorado, so we brought Banana Slug String Band for our youth and family concerts Tuesday. Teaching children how to protect our earth, the band uses music, theater and puppetry to engage the audience and share lessons. If you're tired of telling your kids to shut off the lights when they leave the room, Banana Slug String Band may just solve the problem.

If you enjoyed Canadian pop artists Dala, you're certain to melt with our next Canadian vocalist, Mark Masri, performing Friday. The definition of multiculturalism with roots in Lebanon and Scotland and a master of the piano, Masri will make you mushy with his vocal range and stunning good looks. Also join us for our annual Encore Fundraising Concert on Thursday, where Masri will perform a private concert at the home of John and Carrie Hayden. The $165 ticket secures you a seat at the show as well as dinner and drinks.

Our weekly classical theme continues with Chamber Masterworks, including works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn. Showcasing violin, viola, cello and piano, performers include Strings Music Directors Andrés Cárdenes and Monique Mead, soloists Rebecca Albers, Claude Sim, Anne Martindale Williams and Gilles Vonsattel as well as members of the Meridian Quartet.

On Wednesday, take a journey through the classical and romantic periods with Haydn, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. Beethoven's Duet with Two Obligato Eyeglasses was most likely written for Beethoven's friend, cellist Nikolaus Zmeskall. The playfulness of the piece depicts familiar banter between two close friends. However, the title and the dialogue of the piece remind me of a common question at home:

"Now what did I do with my glasses?"

Recommended Stories For You

"Well, dear, they are sitting atop your head."

On Saturday, delve into the fantasy of the romantic period with Beethoven, Schumann and Mendelssohn. Although written for only eight parts, Mendelssohn's Octet in E-flat Major is played like a full symphony orchestra with highly differentiated dynamics and articulations. The complex texturing in the piece brings to my mind a quick thinking villain, with the mischievous blend of appearing sweet while plotting evil.

With all of our music, let your imagination roam and see what images come into your head when you hear a single high note of a violin or rich chords by the whole ensemble.

Valerie Powell is the administrative assistant at Strings Music Festival. She can be reached at or 970-879-5056, ext. 111.

Go back to article