- Clockwise from top left: Tony Award-winner Debbie Gravitte, Jan Horvath, Doug LaBrecque from The Phantom of the Opera and guest conductor, Scott Yoo.
As the Oct. 31 fund-raising deadline set forth by four major community foundations fast approaches, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic is eager to announce the breadth of the community's support and the depth of their pockets.
The final outcome of the massive fund-raising effort will be formally announced at a press conference on Oct. 31. "We have had an incredible outpouring of community support that was reignited after the gala season opener," Executive Director Susan Greene said last week. "I am reasonably optimistic that we will meet our goal."
The Colorado Springs Philharmonic's gala concert in mid-October was an exciting beginning for the new organization, and a triumphant return to the stage by a group of musicians who, in addition to preparing for upcoming concerts, have tirelessly campaigned to raise money.
This news will likely resonate throughout the arts community as testimony to the power of a strong and supportive fund-raising base for the arts in a down economy.
Two upcoming concerts will showcase the orchestra's diverse talents, and address what Greene refers to as "a need the orchestra has felt for a long time -- to reach out to new audiences in our community."
The first in a series of four "Pick of the Pops" concerts presents the nationally acclaimed musical theater offering BRAVO Broadway!, a program Greene describes as full of "jazz and razzle-dazzle."
Associate Conductor Thomas Wilson will lead the orchestra as they accompany Tony Award-winner Debbie Gravitte and Jan Horvath and Doug LaBrecque from The Phantom of the Opera. The program features songs from every Broadway musical you can think of -- from Man of La Mancha to My Fair Lady.
A week later, the Philharmonic's second Classical Masterworks concert will move the orchestra out of its traditional performance venue at the Pikes Peak Center and into the Briargate neighborhood in an effort to expand community interest in the group. The guest conductor will be Scott Yoo, the music director of the Metamorphosen Orchestra, a touring chamber orchestra committed to commissioning new music as well as performing more standard repertoire.
The Philharmonic's Classical Masterworks Briargate concert will feature Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 5, Sergey Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1, and Antonin Dvorak's "Serenade for Strings."
"The last few years have been a tough time for orchestras, and it's great that [the Colorado Springs Philharmonic] is making a real effort to come back," said Yoo in a break from his busy guest-conducting schedule.
"A city the size of Colorado Springs should have an orchestra -- it's so important to hear great live music," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, not having an orchestra is not an option. And I'm delighted to come conduct this program."
-- Bettina Swigger
capsule Colorado Springs Philharmonic
Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave.
Sat., Nov. 1, 8 p.m.
capsule The Classical Tradition
Sunrise Church, 2655 Briargate Blvd.
Sat., Nov. 8, 8 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 9, 2:30 p.m.
$20 general admission