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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Every morning in Steamboat Springs you can see a hot air balloon rising into the crisp blue sky above Emerald Mountain. The funny thing about hot air balloons is you never know where they’re going to land. And sometimes they like to stop at Strings for a concert….

Hot Air Balloon at Strings Music Pavilion

I remember…

“Hot air balloons landing on the lawn at Torian Plum during classical concerts.”

“Hot air balloons landing outside the tent during an adagio movment – you couldn’t hear a thing!”

Posted on August 3, 2012
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“My favorite memory of Strings is the rainbow before Kathy Mattea’s performance.”

Strings Music Festival Tent – 1996

Last week, we were graced with another beautiful rainbow as we celebrated 25 years of Strings. It seemed especially fitting that it ended at the Pavilion.

Strings Music Pavilion – 2012

Posted on July 20, 2012
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David Deveau – 22 Seasons with Strings Music Festival

Many of our audience members have seen all 25 years of Strings’ concerts, but what you may not know, is that some of our artists have been here just as long! Thirteen musicians have returned to Strings for more than half of the years the festival has been in existence. Below you can find out who they are, how long they’ve been here, when they first performed, and when they’re performing this year.  

Ken Greene, 24 seasons, 1988 (June 23July 28)
David Deveau, 22 seasons, 1990 (July 28)
Andrés Cárdenes, 21 seasons, 1992 (June 23August 4)
Anne Martindale Williams, 18 seasons, 1992 (August 1, August4)
David Hardy, 17 seasons, 1994 (July 28August 4)
William VerMeulen, 17 seasons, 1994 (June 23, June 27)
Mark Nuccio, 16 seasons, 1995 (July 7, August 1)
Katherine Collier, 15 seasons, 1994
Yizhak Schotten, 15 seasons, 1994
Cary Lewis, 14 seasons, 1994
Sylvia VerMeulen, 13 seasons, 1996 (June 23)
Debra Ellet-Holland, 13 seasons, 1997
Brent Rowan, 13 seasons, 2000 (July 6)
For more live music in Steamboat Springs, visit the Strings Music Festival website.

Posted on June 29, 2012
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Betse Grassby, Annie DeGroff, Kay Clagett – 1992

“Kay and Betse- you rock! Remember when you were so nervous about how Strings would manifest? Well, wow!”
“Betse, Kay, Anne working out of one small office at Storm Meadows.”

These three have been with Strings since the beginning. Join us tomorrow night for the Opening Night Orchestra concert, when they relive some of the highlights from the past 25 years. Strings is so successful because of you!

Posted on June 22, 2012
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Strings Music Festival

Some return to Strings every summer to reunite with friends and family. Some only attend one concert, but share a moment with a special person. Here are a few poignant memories of lifelong connections made at Strings.

“Meeting friends, spontaneously before a Different Tempo concert and the chatter at intermission.”
“Sharing a couple of concerts with family members visiting from Australia.”
“My mom, sister and brother-in-law rocking out to Celtic music. We came in with no idea who they were and loved them.” -Jan Levy

Thank you to everyone who has made Strings a part of your life. Your love of music keeps the festival alive.

Posted on June 15, 2012
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“My favorite memory of Strings is the Pavilion.”

Strings Music Pavilion

“The day our Board voted to build the Pavilion.” -Henry Savage
“Seeing the Pavilion built in 9 months – a miracle!”
“This beautiful Pavilion replacing the old flapping tent.”
“Opening night of the Pavilion.”
“I love the new venue, particularly the acoustics; quite a departure from the tent on the hill.” -Corey Langer

The Strings Music Pavilion, in Steamboat Springs Colorado, was completed in 2008, replacing the performing arts tent. The 560-seat venue makes for an intimate concert setting and outstanding live music. In 2012, the Pavilion won Best of the Boat’s “Best Live Entertainment Venue.”

Posted on June 8, 2012
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Willie and Lobo

“One Willie and Lobo concert in the old tent with a wild rainstorm coming down. The sound of the rain hitting the canvas became part of the concert sound and the whole musical experience was magical.”

Willie and Lobo performed at Strings Music Festival in 2007, 2000, and 1998, among others. Check out this year’s 2012 Different Tempo Series. Tickets on sale now!

Posted on May 18, 2012
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My favorite memory of Strings is…
Simon Boyar – 2011
“Watching all of the elementary kids bursting with energy, hands flying in the air hoping they will be one of the lucky ones to get picked by Simon Boyer to ask him a question, usually what his favorite band is or if he can play the Super Mario Brothers Theme!” –Summer Johnston
Simon Boyar was the Strings School Days featured musician in 2010 and 2011. The 2012 Strings School Days program concludes tonight with a free concert by Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) at the Strings Music Pavilion. Tickets will be available starting at 6:00pm. Doors open at 6:30pm and the concert starts at 7:00pm. No advanced ticket reservations.
Posted on May 11, 2012
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My favorite memory of Strings is…

Alpin Hong – 2009

“Alpin Hong’s infectious love of music and Steamboat and Strings and his gracious manners as he visited with us.”
“Alpin Hong is a bright ray of sunshine wherever he appears!”
“Coming here when I was very young and being chosen to play on the stage with Alpin Hong. I love Steamboat.”

Alpin Hong was the Strings School Days featured musician in 2008 and 2009. Strings School Days returns next week May 7-11, 2012. Please join us for a free concert with Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) on May 11th at the Strings Music Pavilion. Tickets will be available starting at 6:00pm on May 11. Doors open at 6:30pm and the concert starts at 7:00pm. No advanced ticket reservations.

Posted on May 4, 2012
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