I think everyone in Steamboat has their own personal “first day of summer.” For some, it’s when the gondola starts up again for summertime enjoyment of Mount Werner. For others, it’s when the Yampa drops down to tube-manageable levels or when their favorite watering hole starts serving happy hour on the patio.
Strings Music Festival
Strings Music Festival columns publish weekly in the Steamboat Today.
As the stage manager for Strings Music Festival, my summer really begins with the first concert of the season. This year, that happens to coincide with the summer solstice — June 21.
On Saturday, Strings’ first summer concert will be the legendary classic rock duo America. They’ll ease the audience into the summer with classic tunes such as “Sister Golden Hair” and “Ventura Highway,” and I’m hoping that their fabled California coolness translates into some mellow backstage jamming before the concert.
What a way to start the season.
But like all official firsts, June 21 isn’t actually the beginning; it’s just the acknowledgement that things are underway.
For example, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Strings is hosting a free movie at the Bud Werner Memorial Library. The documentary movie, "Note By Note," follows the creation of a specific Steinway concert grand piano from tree to stage, in a process spanning “12 months, 12,000 parts, 450 craftsmen and countless hours of fine-tuned labor,” according to PBS.
More than just a piano aficionado film, the movie is a celebration of craftsmanship and an homage to the dwindling ranks of people dedicated to working with their hands.
And before all of this, the Strings staff has been preparing busily for the season by booking shows, selling tickets, creating the program book and hiring the artists and crew.
The backstage crew has been cleaning and organizing, repairing equipment, building cable and stocking up on spike tape and first aid supplies.
We’ve each been building up to our own “first day of summer,” doing all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into supporting more than 150 musicians for more than 40 performances and events this summer.
Join us for some classic rock Saturday for Strings’ first summer concert and check out our website for upcoming events to add to your summer schedule.
Steamboat summers are short, so what are we waiting for? Let’s get the party started.
Ali Mignone is the stage manager for Strings Music Festival.