New string group starts Monday

Orchestra runs ensemble for high school, adult musicians

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Rehearsals

Rehearsals for the Steamboat String Ensemble, a seven-week workshop presented by the Steamboat Springs Orchestra, are from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. Mondays through Feb. 22 at the Depot Art Center. The orchestra workshop is open to high school and adult string players of intermediate or advanced ability. The cost for the workshop is $105. For more information or to register, call the orchestra office at 870-3223 or e-mail ensemble director Teresa Steffen Greenlee at tmsteffen@springs...

— Organizers of a new classical music group hope to bridge the gap between student and adult ensembles available in Routt County.

The Steamboat String En­­semble, a project of the Steamboat Springs Orchestra, starts rehearsals from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. Monday at the Depot Art Center. Initially a seven-week workshop, the orchestra for high school and adult players of intermediate or advanced ability could grow into a permanent ensemble, director and SSO concertmaster Teresa Steffen Greenlee said.

“I really think there are a lot of players in this town who don’t have a place to go play, and this is going to give them an opportunity to get their instruments out and go,” Steffen Greenlee said. The cost for the workshop, which includes seven rehearsals and a concert, is $105, she said.

“I would say that it’s under the umbrella of the Steamboat Sp­r­­ings Orchestra as part of keeping with our mission of educating and entertaining the community with classical music,” she said.

Being under the umbrella of SSO means having principal orchestra players sit in as section leaders and act as mentors to young musicians and having SSO Music Director Ernest Richardson come to conduct the final two rehearsals and concert.

The group will play light classical and Baroque music, and it will perform two pieces with the Steamboat Springs Youth Orchestra at a to-be-scheduled concert the week of Feb. 22, Steffen Greenlee said.

With no orchestra ensembles in local public or private high schools, and limited opportunity with other projects of the Steamboat Springs Orchestra, Steffen Greenlee’s high-school-age students have trouble finding a place to play classical music with people their age and older, she said. Ensemble experience could give those students an idea whether they might like to play or teach music professionally, Steffen Greenlee said.

“Without having that exposure to that type of environment, it’s difficult for them to know if they want to pursue that,” she said. There weren’t enough students to create a high-school-age ensemble, so Steffen Greenlee decided to open the group to older players.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 20 people were signed up to participate in the six-week workshop. Future plans for the Steamboat String Ensemble will be made based on the interest level in the workshop, Steffen Greenlee said. About half of the 20 people committed to the workshop are high school students; the other half are intermediate- or advanced-level adult musicians from a range of communities, she said.

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