Cameron Osteen and Chloe Banning warm up before performing at the Depot Art Center on Friday evening. The young musicians will join others to perform a concert Monday evening at Steamboat Springs Christian Center as part of the youth orchestra and ensemble program sponsored by Steamboat Springs Orchestra.

Photo by John F. Russell

Cameron Osteen and Chloe Banning warm up before performing at the Depot Art Center on Friday evening. The young musicians will join others to perform a concert Monday evening at Steamboat Springs Christian Center as part of the youth orchestra and ensemble program sponsored by Steamboat Springs Orchestra.

Youth ensembles teach students more than just music

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Steamboat Springs Orchestra youth program ensemble

"Baroque and Blue" will be performed at 7 p.m. Monday, May 4, at Steamboat Christian Center. Watch the video for a sample of the performance.

"Baroque and Blue" will be performed at 7 p.m. Monday, May 4, at Steamboat Christian Center. Watch the video for a sample of the performance.

If you go

What: SSO Youth Orchestra and Ensemble Program spring concert, presented by the Steamboat Springs Orchestra

When: 7 p.m. Monday

Where: Steamboat Christian Center

Cost: $5

Call: 870-3223

Online: Watch a video of SSO youth ensemble Baroque and Blue perform a section of Claude Bolling's "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio" at www.steamboatpilo...>

— The four students who make up the Baroque and Blue classical jazz quartet have learned how to solve problems.

Minutes before the scheduled start of a Friday afternoon rehearsal at the Depot Art Center, bassist Sean Fairlie realized one of his strings was broken. So he played through Claude Bolling's "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio" with three strings, instead of four.

"They're learning : that it takes more than great musicians to make a great ensemble," said Mary Beth Norris, a flute teacher who coaches the group once a week. The students learn how to communicate with one another, schedule rehearsals and work together to prepare for a concert, she said.

Baroque and Blue - with Fairlie on bass, Lowell Whiteman School junior Chloe Banning on flute, Colorado Mountain College student Cameron Osteen on piano and Steamboat Springs Middle School eighth-grader Logan Banning on drums - is one of three small ensembles scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. Monday at the Steamboat Christian Center for the SSO Youth Orchestra and Ensemble Program's spring concert.

The youth program has about 30 students and features mostly string players with a few woodwinds, a pianist and a percussionist. Monday's concert includes performances by small ensembles and a full orchestra.

Popular selections for the show include "Moondance" by Van Morrison and the folk-tune-inspired "Ashokan Farewell."

Steamboat Springs Orchestra Executive Director John Fairlie and SSO violinist Bonnie Murray conduct the youth ensembles. Fairlie said he's seen the students take significant strides since he started working with the program in spring 2006.

"I think it's remarkable how these young people improve from concert to concert. In almost every rehearsal, you can see progress in their overall playing. They're highly motivated students, and they're really fun to work with," Fairlie said.

Baroque and Blue has been together for about two years and has performed for events at Bud Werner Memorial Library and The Lowell Whiteman School. The group played Friday during a reception for the annual Routt County Youth Art Show. Rehearsals and performances have been a bonding experience for the young musicians, Osteen said.

"It's been fun to get to know each other playing concerts and to get to know how your group plays together," she said.

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