Strings Music Festival: Adventure awaits | SteamboatToday.com

Strings Music Festival: Adventure awaits

Kristine Kilbourne
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

As a native midwesterner, I grew up seeing The North Face and Patagonia ads featuring ice climbers and backcountry camping.

I thought they were stunning, but I couldn't relate. I figured these companies were using extreme situations to sell gear that nobody actually needed. I car camped and day hiked, but no one I knew was summiting 14ers or road biking across the country.

Why would anyone possibly need a sleeping bag rated for zero degrees? And what does one put in a bivy sack anyway? I wondered.

When I moved to Colorado in 2009, my perspective started to change. My gear closet did too.

First, I got new skis, then an ultralight tent, then a paddleboard. You know how it goes. Life in Steamboat Springs allows us to live a life worthy of adventure ads. We push ourselves to physical limits and along the way, we try new things and have experiences that inspire us. Things that now seem commonplace were once new and frightening, but we're better for having tried them.

Luckily, a sense of adventure doesn't have to stay outdoors. Working at Strings Music Festival has allowed me to explore musical horizons that I never would have trod on my own.

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I didn't grow up with classical music in my life, so most of what I know I've learned at Strings. I'm definitely not academic about it and sometimes forget the difference between adagio and allegro but I do know one thing: it's transformative.

Orchestra performances seem to mix meditation with dance. Beautiful instruments sway on stage with enough energy for visual stimulation. But the main event, of course, is the sound. When the music begins, all the thoughts that were buzzing through your head sit still so you can truly listen.

I've heard some say that "classical music isn't for me" or that “it's stuffy” or that “they don't know the etiquette.” This write-off always surprises me. If you tried the former fuego burger at Back Door Grill, faced bears at your dumpster or tiptoed across Devil's Causeway, how can anything be off limits?

One of the best thing about classical concerts at Strings is that they truly are for everyone, including newcomers. Whether you're a novice like me or a life-long listener, you'll be welcomed by some of the best musicians in the country. Of course, anything new can be uncomfortable at first.

The moment you dunk into your tube during the first river float of the summer can take your breath away. But as you settle in, you adjust to the flow and you're swimming at Hippie Hot Springs before you know it, wishing you could do it all over again.

Strings audience members show up in Chacos, in cowboy boots and in pumps. Some have been through the Pavilion doors dozens of times and others are attending their very first show. First-timers might not know every in and out of the venue, but there are plenty of friendly faces around to help. And at the end of the night, footwear and prior knowledge don't matter; we're all members of the same beautiful experience.

I welcome you to try something new at Strings this summer. Stop by the box office for half-price classical tickets or sample a different style. This summer's lineup spans genres and brings artists from around the world.

Whatever musical journey you choose, I hope you enjoy the experience and after the show, turn in for a good night's rest before the next day's adventures.

Visit stringsmusicfestival.com for more information.

Kristine Kilbourne is marketing director at Strings Music Festival. When not attending or promoting concerts, she enjoys making pottery, and hiking, paddling and skiing with her husband and her border collie.

Upcoming events

• 8 p.m. Friday, June 2 Bostyx

• 7 p.m. Saturday, June 23 Opening Night Orchestra followed by Champagne Reception

• 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 27  Cliburn Medalist Kenny Broberg

• 12:15 p.m. Thursday, June 28 Music on the Green at the Yampa River Botanic Park

• 7 p.m. Saturday, June 30 Celebrate America Vol. II

Tickets available at 970-879-5056 and stringsmusicfestival.com.