Strings Music Festival Staff 2012

From left to right: Valerie Powell, Leslie Schimmelpfennig, Betse Grassby, Kay Clagett, Annie DeGroff, Cristin Frey, Elissa Greene


With the turn of the New Year, the staff of Strings Music Festival spent a little time reflecting on 2012. The year was momentous with our 25th Anniversary, the best-attended Kitchen and Garden Tour ever, opening a new parking lot and 26,000 people enjoying live concerts.

Here are our favorite moments:

Kay: There were so many great moments during the 2012 season. My favorite would have to be the night we performed Copland’s Appalachian Spring. Andrés Cárdenes conducted the music in perfect rhythm to a big screen video presentation by Steamboat’s top photographers of this town’s incredible beauty from spring to fall. Not a dry eye in the house!  

Betse: Although there are so many things to say about the summer, the following special feelings stand out:

Jaw-DroppingWilliam Close and his Earth Harp. We’ve known since 2004 that his show would be amazing – and now the rest of the world knows that “He’s Got Talent.”

Peaceful – Yoga under the Earth Harp.

Emotional – An incredible collection of photographs of the valley set to a brilliant performance of Appalachian Spring.

Awesome – Our biggest production yet – 24 band and crew members plus 2 semis, 2 tour busses and a brilliant performance by k.d. lang.

Proud – To present South Africa’s Johnny Clegg who has truly changed the world for the better, both with his music and his actions for peace and tolerance.

Annie: The 25th year for Strings was a milestone for many, and it was very rewarding for me to have been here that long. My favorite concerts this year were k.d. lang and Appalachian Spring, but it’s really hard to choose because I enjoyed the whole season! Congrats to the Strings staff for making it such a success.

Cristin: My favorite moment of 2012 had to be at Strings School Days at SOROCO. Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) asked an auditorium of students if anyone was in the choir. Turns out that one lone girl in the balcony raised her hand. He asked her to sing anything she wanted, and she nervously started singing the most beautiful rendition of Summer Time and the Living is easy while Daniel accompanied on violin. She received a well-deserved standing ovation from her peers, and as it turns out she was a new transfer student.

Most Rewarding Moment: I had the chance to work with Richard Perlmutter of Beethoven’s Wig and three of our local community musicians. While we were on stage I realized how lucky I was to be involved in a community where a traveled professional musician, musicians that just like to play for fun and a room full of children can come together to make music.

Favorite Instrument: From the moment I saw the Chime Sword in the concert with Mass Ensemble and William Close, I was enthralled. It was just as beautiful to watch as it was to hear. Music came from different places, chimes rang from the stage and notes resounded above me from the Earth Harp, but were perfectly in time and the experience reminded me how limitless live music can be.

Favorite Concert: It’s not often while listening to live music that you can lay back and close your eyes. When the Tesla Quartet performed at Music on the Green I was able to do just that. It brought me back to my childhood memories when I used to watch my Dad play at evening concerts in a park.

Rainbow at Strings Music Festival 

While the weather has been consistently below zero and the sun sets before 5:00pm, we are already looking ahead to warm, sunny, summer days in the park before concerts. We have some new surprises to announce, so keep following the blog and reading our newsletter to be the first to know what’s in store for 2013.



Posted on January 9, 2013
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