Local youths join orchestra concert

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The Steamboat Springs Chamber Orchestra started in Judy Dettwiler's living room 12 years ago and grew into a local institution.

More than a decade ago, a small group of classical musicians who had moved to Steamboat Springs were tired of watching their instruments collect dust.

What: Steamboat Springs Chamber Orchestra's Spring Concert When: 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday Where: Steamboat Springs High School auditorium Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, children younger than 12 get in free. Call: 879-9008

"Our instruments were in closets and on the wall," Dettwiler said. "We missed it."

(Dettwiler counted having played with 15 orchestras before coming to Steamboat.)

With Mary Beth Norris conducting, the chamber orchestra began with seven string instruments.

Anyone who remembers their humble beginnings will feel a tinge of pride at tonight's concert when 28 musicians take the stage with woodwinds, brass, percussion and the founding sound of strings.

"We grew slowly with a lot of direction from the Colorado Symphony," Dettwiler said. Two years ago, they welcomed a new conductor, Richard Niezen. Originally a bass player, he spent a year in Prague studying Czech composers, earned a degree in music history, a master's in conducting and played in Europe, South America and North America before landing in Steamboat.

Niezen will conduct the annual spring program tonight and Saturday. All the music revolves around the outdoors or youth. Songs include Aaron Copland's "Outdoor Overture" and Beethoven's Symphony #6 in F Major "Pastorale."

For the first time in the chamber orchestra's history, they invited four young musicians to join them on stage -- Anna Roeder, 12, Galen Batson, 11, Kelsey Batson, 16, and Renee Spady, 15. Kelsey Batson and Spady placed second place in a February concerto competition in Denver hosted by the Aurora Symphony Orchestra. They will be playing a movement from their winning duet.

"(Inviting youths to play) is something I've wanted to do for a long time," Niezen said.

Galen Batson will be playing Concerto in G major for Violoncello by Georg Golterman.

The piece is a complicated one with "lots of notes," Niezen said.

More than a decade ago, a small group of classical musicians who had moved to Steamboat Springs were tired of watching their instruments collect dust.

"Our instruments were in closets and on the wall," Dettwiler said. "We missed it."

(Dettwiler counted having played with 15 orchestras before coming to Steamboat.)

With Mary Beth Norris conducting, the chamber orchestra began with seven string instruments.

Anyone who remembers their humble beginnings will feel a tinge of pride at tonight's concert when 28 musicians take the stage with woodwinds, brass, percussion and the founding sound of strings.

"We grew slowly with a lot of direction from the Colorado Symphony," Dettwiler said. Two years ago, they welcomed a new conductor, Richard Niezen. Originally a bass player, he spent a year in Prague studying Czech composers, earned a degree in music history, a master's in conducting and played in Europe, South America and North America before landing in Steamboat.

Niezen will conduct the annual spring program tonight and Saturday. All the music revolves around the outdoors or youth. Songs include Aaron Copland's "Outdoor Overture" and Beethoven's Symphony #6 in F Major "Pastorale."

For the first time in the chamber orchestra's history, they invited four young musicians to join them on stage -- Anna Roeder, 12, Galen Batson, 11, Kelsey Batson, 16, and Renee Spady, 15. Kelsey Batson and Spady placed second place in a February concerto competition in Denver hosted by the Aurora Symphony Orchestra. They will be playing a movement from their winning duet.

"(Inviting youths to play) is something I've wanted to do for a long time," Niezen said.

Galen Batson will be playing Concerto in G major for Violoncello by Georg Golterman.

The piece is a complicated one with "lots of notes," Niezen said.

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