Strings in the Mountains working to form alliance

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— The Strings in the Mountains Festival of Music organizers are collaborating with four other Colorado festivals to create a Mountain Music Alliance that would offer residents the opportunity to visit four mountain towns with outstanding music festivals at a discounted rate.

"With more people driving this summer, it would be a great way to see the state and enjoy the festivals," said Sheri Steiner, Strings in the Mountains spokeswoman.

The four festivals that will initially make up the alliance include the Central City Opera, Bravo! of the Vail Valley, the Aspen Music Festival and Strings in the Mountains Festival of Music.

The Mountain Music Alliance would not only create a larger network for outstanding music performances in Colorado, but give people who buy a Mountain Music Alliance card a substantial discount to all four festivals.

Steiner said that she and other festival organizers have been working with the Colorado tourism office as well as with local chamber and tourist bureaus to give music alliance card holders discounts on lodging and food.

With the decline in the economy, Steiner said, the alliance would provide people the opportunity to enjoy cultural events such as operas, chamber music, symphonic concerts and contemporary music at an affordable price.

"The alliance is a terrific idea. Music lovers will love it and it will be a great family affair," said Steiner.

Although the alliance is only in the planning phases, Steiner said that in the future they would like to add other music festivals throughout the state to the alliance such as Breckenridge, Telluride and Durango.

"It would be a great way for people to see all four corners of the state," she said.

Still in the planning phases are the discounts people will receive on festival passes and the reduced rates on lodging and food available in each of the four locations.

Steiner said that although the organizers of the event are still in the planning process the alliance will definitely be organized and ready to go for the festival season.

"The four festivals are really into this. As far as non-profits go, we believe in partnerships."

Steiner said she thinks the alliance will help get more people out and visiting different areas of Colorado.

"It'll spark some interest," she said.

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