Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds perform Saturday night at Strings Music Festival.

Courtesy photo

Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds perform Saturday night at Strings Music Festival.

Cristin Frey: Classical music 101

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2012 Strings Music Festival schedule

June 23: Opening night orchestra, $60
June 26: Youth concert/family concert with The Gizmo Guys, $10
June 27: Baroque, Tangos and Jazz, $28
June 28: Music on the Green with the Tesla Quartet, free, Yampa River Botanic Park
June 30: MASS Ensemble with Earth Harp, $55
July 1: Free community day with live, interactive music
July 3: Alison Brown Quartet, $35 (youth concert also July 3 is $10)
July 5: Music on the Green with the Tesla Quartet, free, Yampa River Botanic Park
July 6: Brent Rowan & Friends, $43
July 7: Dance & Camaraderie with Perry-Mansfield dancers, $36
July 10: Youth concert with Beethoven’s Wig, $10
July 11: European Romance, $28
July 12: Music on the Green with the Tesla Quartet, free, Yampa River Botanic Park
July 13: Paul Thorn Band, $33
July 14: Opus 25, $40
July 17: Youth concert/family concert with Fara Tolno and Kissidugu, $10
July 18: Chee-Yun & Friends, $30
July 19: Music on the Green with the Tesla Quartet, free, Yampa River Botanic Park
July 20: Lee Ann Womack, $110
July 21: Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, $25
July 24: Youth concert/family concert with Billy Jonas Band, $10
July 25: Jon Nakamatsu, $40
July 26: Music on the Green with Trevor G. Potter and Walt Seabert, free, Yampa River Botanic Park
July 27: Chris Botti, $110
July 28: Appalachian Spring with local artists, $25
July 31: Youth concert with Farmer Jason, $10
August 1: Orchestral Music from the Movies with Steamboat youth musicians, $46
August 2: Music on the Green with the Old Town Pickers, free, Yampa River Botanic Park
August 3: k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang, $110
August 4: Chopin with Wendy Chen, $50
August 7: Youth concert with The Not-Its!, $10
August 9: Music on the Green with Steve Boynton Trio, free, Yampa River Botanic Park
August 10: Johnny Clegg, $42
August 16: Music on the Green with Jon Gibbs and Randy Kelley, free, Yampa River Botanic Park
August 17: Asleep at the Wheel, $46

Concerts are at Strings Music Pavilion unless otherwise noted. Prices listed are for adult tickets. For more information, visit www.stringsmusicfestival.org.

The other day I was at one of our outreach programs at the Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat Springs with our artist in residence string quartet, the Tesla Quartet. The quartet members asked the group of 6- to 10-year-olds whether anyone knew what pizzicato means. As my mind went blank, a curly blond-haired kid, no older than 6, raised his hand and confidently said “plucking.” If you are wondering if he was right, keep reading because this article is for you. 

■ Chamber music: Written for a small group of instruments, the word “chamber” signifies that the music can be performed in a small room with an intimate atmosphere. This also could be compared to the modern day jam session. 

■ Orchestra: A large instrumental ensemble with sections of string, brass, woodwind and percussion instruments, led by a conductor. These have different names depending on size. A smaller-sized orchestra (of about fifty players or less) is called a chamber orchestra. A full-size orchestra (about 100 players) sometimes is called a symphony orchestra or philharmonic orchestra.

■ Concerto: This basically means solo with the orchestra. You will want to pay attention because someone is about to show off some mad skills. 

■ Applause: Here is the moment you have been waiting for to show your appreciation. Somewhere in the early 19th century, it was decided that applause interrupted the momentum of a piece, which is why we now hold our applause until all movements (little songs within a piece) are complete. It looks like Mozart lost this battle years ago, when he expected that people would eat and talk over his music, particularly at dinner, and was delighted when his audience would clap during his symphonies.

■ Pizzicato: Plucking, the little boy was correct.

Cristin Frey is the marketing director for Strings Music Festival. Contact Frey at cristin@stringsmusicfestival.com or 970-879-5056, ext. 104.

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