Steamboat Springs When someone hears the Steamboat Springs Youth Orchestra for the first time, he or she usually walks away with a slight sense of awe.
"You just can't believe these kids can do this," parent and organizer Laura Heath said.
Seventeen children will participate in the orchestra's spring concert this weekend. They range from ages 7 to 16. For those who don't already know, the group's performances are always top notch. The quality of musicians is closer to the orchestra's parent group, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Orchestra, than it is to a scene of struggling young musicians being applauded by proud parents.
"It is impressive," said Teresa Steffen, admitting to the quality of players she has. "And it's even more so that we are in this small town."
To underscore some of the most talented players, the performance features five pieces played by small ensembles of three to four people. This helps present some of the personal styles of the musicians.
"It's pretty exciting," Steffan said. "They (the children) feel with all the effort they put in this that they get to do something on their own."
Steffan, an accomplished violinist in her own right, has been the conductor of the youth orchestra for many years. She said this spring's performance is special because it will be at Perry-Mansfield for the first time.
"We don't have a good environment (to perform at) in town. It's hard to find a venue with enough space and good acoustics," she said.
That problem should be solved with the Steinberg Pavilion at Perry-Mansfield.
"I believe it's inspiring to play in a place like that," she said.
The orchestra will perform at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Steinberg Pavilion at the Perry-Mansfield Center for Performing Arts.