A grand opening

Strings in the Mountains celebrates start of summer festival


— Susanna Lockhart has traveled to Denver each of the past three weekends to practice with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra.

The 16-year-old Steamboat Springs violinist relishes the opportunity to practice with peers who share her musical interest.

"It's fun to be able to play with kids my age that like to play classical music," Lockhart said.

Lockhart is one of four young Steamboat musicians who will perform with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra for Strings in the Mountains' free community concert Sunday.

Twenty-five Denver Young Artists Orchestra members will travel from Denver to perform and stay with families in Steamboat. The orchestra consists of 40 members ranging in age from 8 to 23.

Strings in the Mountains officials canvassed the local youth music community to select Lockhart, Chloe Banning, Emily Stout and Anna Rodder to join the Denver Young Artists Orchestra for this weekend's concert.

"It's a feather in their cap to qualify to play with the orchestra," Strings President and CEO Kay Clagett said. "It's a wonderful experience for them, and they make us proud."

It is an inspiration for music students to meet members of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra and see how much they practice, Clagett said.

Lockhart is used to practicing two hours a day. "Classical music is so complex, and it's really difficult to make it sound good. It is just so beautiful and old, it's been around for a long time," she said. "It's a very big challenge, and you have to practice a lot."

¤ Strings in the Mountains community concert featuring the Denver Young Artists Orchestra and Steamboat's Youth Clarinet Ensemble¤ Sunday. 3:30 p.m. Youth Clarinet Ensemble; 4 p.m. Denver Young Artists Orchestra¤ Strings in the Mountains Music Festival Park¤ Free¤ 879-5056

Adam Flatt, associate conductor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, will conduct Sunday's one-hour concert, which will feature Tchaikovsky's "Serenade for Strings." Tchaikovsky wrote the piece as homage to Mozart's serenades, and the music will be featured as it would have been played 250 years ago.

The serenade's four movements will be played individually and interspersed with contrasting compositions by Mozart, Massenet and Bartok. "The concert is meant to be fun for everyone to listen to classical music, and to hear kids playing it," Lockhart said. "And it's an honor to play and to be asked to play with (the Denver Young Artists Orchestra)."

Steamboat's Youth Clarinet Ensemble will kick off the concert at 3:30 p.m. Strings in the Mountains officials encourage concertgoers to take blankets, picnics and the family to help celebrate the opening of Strings' summer music festival.


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