Breckenridge Music Festival presents Holiday Brass winter concert |

Breckenridge Music Festival presents Holiday Brass winter concert

The Breckenridge Music Festival welcomes back Justin Bartels, principal trumpet of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and his CSO brass colleagues for a concert mixed with traditional and classic selections to kick off the Christmas week.
Todd Powell / Special to the Daily |

If you go

What: Breckenridge Music Festival presents Holiday Brass, part of the Encore Winter Concert Series

When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21

Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave. Breckenridge

Cost: General admission tickets are $15 for adults or $5 for children younger than 18; a portion of the event proceeds will benefit Summit County Cares

More information: Snacks and beverages, including wine, beer and hot chocolate, will be available for purchase at the Riverwalk concessions booth. Purchase tickets by phone at (970) 453-9142 or after 2 p.m. the day of the concert at the Riverwalk Box Office; learn more at

The Breckenridge Music Festival welcomes back Justin Bartels, principal trumpet of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and his CSO brass colleagues for a concert of traditional and classic selections to begin the Christmas week. The concert will take place on Sunday, Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.

The CSO brass players have planned a mix of holiday favorites — selections from classics including “The Nutcracker” and “Hansel and Gretel” and seasonal favorites such as “Sleigh Ride,” “Carol of the Bells” and “French Carol.” Also on the program is English composer Gustav Holst’s well-known setting of “In the Bleak Midwinter” in an arrangement for brass by Bartels himself. This Christmas carol is based on a poem by English poet Christina Rossetti, written in response to a request for a Christmas poem from the magazine Scribner’s Monthly. The poem became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 in the arrangement by Holst.

The program includes a number of familiar carols, opening with “Joy to the World.” Like many familiar carols, this ode was originally adapted and arranged from an older melody. The tune may have been familiar to Handel, in part because the theme of the refrain (“And heaven and nature sing …”) appears in the orchestra opening and accompaniment of the recitative “Comfort Ye” from Handel’s “Messiah,” and the first four notes match the beginning of the choruses “Lift Up Your Heads” and “Glory to God” from the same oratorio.

The program continues with songs such as “12 Days of Christmas,” “Silent Night” and “Angelus Domini” and ends with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”


Bartels will be accompanied by Steve Kilburn on trumpet, Mike Thorton on horn, Paul Naslund on tenor trombone, Greg Harper on bass trombone and Steve Dombrowski on tuba. Bartels began his tenure as principal trumpet with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in July 2008. He was appointed in 2009 to the position of applied trumpet instructor at Regis University and to a trumpet lecturer-instructor position at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year.

Bartels also taught at the University of Denver as a sabbatical replacement instructor for professor Al Hood’s trumpet studio in the fall of 2012 and continued his affiliation with the University of Denver in the spring of 2013 as a visiting guest artist in orchestral studies at the Lamont School of Music. Bartels also plays with the Colorado Symphony Brass Quintet and is a founding member of the Bartels Brass, a six-member brass ensemble based out of Denver featuring some of the area’s most well-respected and established professional brass players.


The Breckenridge Music Festival will donate a portion of the proceeds from the Holiday Brass concert to Summit County Cares. The Summit County Cares holiday fundraiser is working to raise $50,000 by Wednesday, Dec. 31, to help locals facing eviction or disconnection of heat or who are in need of medical care get back on their feet. One hundred percent of the money raised for Summit County Cares is used to pay rent/mortgage, utility or medical bills.

Join the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra and the members of Bartels Brass as they present a fun and spirited Holiday Concert at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center on Sunday, Dec. 21. For a complete listing of the Breckenridge Music Festival’s 2014-15 Winter Concert Series, visit

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