Orchestra season begins with fundraiser

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Even after 13 years as an organization, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Orchestra is changing and growing.

Two years ago, the group decided to refocus its energy to be more accessible to the community. Members started holding informal evenings of music -- open to the public -- in private homes, and, in the process, picked up eight more local musicians. The orchestra now has 42 members, all volunteer, from Steamboat, Craig, Hayden, Yampa, Oak Creek and Glenwood Springs.

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Orchestra is holding a fundraiser tonight at Harwigs / L'Apogee, 911 Lincoln Ave. The evening begins with a 6 p.m. wine reception, followed by a four-course dinner with wine pairings at 7 p.m.

Eight members of the chamber orchestra will give a concert after dinner. Tickets are $125. Call 879-9008, ext. 107.

The orchestra has kept its concerts fun and light and full of composers that people know and enjoy, and the informal atmosphere has encouraged orchestra musicians to perform together in small ensemble groups, said Betsy Chase, the orchestra's executive administrator.

The orchestra's 2005-06 season begins with holiday concerts from Dec. 2 to 4.

"The orchestra gives the community an opportunity to hear classical music at affordable prices," Chase said. "And it gives community musicians a chance to play and perform."

One of the orchestra's main goals is to reach out to young adults and school-age children.

"It's important to keep the next generations aware and appreciative of classical music," Chase said.

-- To reach Autumn Phillips, call 871-4210

or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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