By Ali Mignone, Stage Manager for Strings Music Festival

For the staff, volunteers and crew at Strings, these past eight weeks have been like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in The Wind in the Willows—our own musical escapade to “nowhere in particular.” But as the Strings Music Festival summer season winds down, many things in the pavilion are depleted: hospitality stocks of water and trail mix, every single Sharpie marker, microphone batteries and much of this stage manager’s energy and brain capacity.

Live music venue Steamboat Springs Strings Music Pavilion

I have come to understand that there is a natural progression for any season-oriented undertaking:

  • Game On—fully stocked and raring to go
  • Oops, Oh Yeah—early season overconfidence, relearning last season’s forgotten lessons
  • The Groove—mid-season smooth sailing, stuff is getting done, people are getting along
  • We Can Do This—final stretch re-energizing, psyche up for the finish, buy more Band-Aids
  • It’s Not Over Yet?—bleary-eyed-ness and inability to form complete sentences even though there’s work yet to be done

Personally, I am smack-dab in the middle of the final stage, so the remainder of this column will be about me counting things and forgetting to put in proper punctuation (with apologies to the Pilot’s copyeditors for the extra work).

A distillation of Strings’ 29th summer season:

  • 12,815 Audience members
  • 107 Classical musicians
  • 95 Hours of classical rehearsal
  • 79 Community volunteers
  • 60 Pots of (terrible) coffee
  • 46 Guild members
  • 45 Different Tempo artists
  • 30 Performances at the pavilion
  • 8 Free shows at the Botanic Park
  • 4 Rolls of black gaff tape
  • 1 Hard-working technical crew and management team

And finally,

  • ∞ music stand and orchestra chair moves

Our crazy, eight-week musical adventure has brought us from Clint Black to Charlie Chaplin’s Gold Rush to Tommy Emmanuel and all the way to Vienna in 1800. And now, we exit the summer season ride a little breathless, somewhat windblown and ready to prop our slippered feet up on the fender and proclaim it a jolly good time indeed.


Upcoming fall/winter events:

Tickets available at (970) 879-5056 and www.stringsmusicfestival.com.


Ali Mignone stage manages for Strings Music Festival, among other things. When she’s not telling roadies and musicians what to do, you can find her hiking, biking or skiing around the Yampa Valley and blogging at thequirkyquill.com.

Posted on August 12, 2016
Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Author: Year: