CMC to unveil 240-seat auditorium |

CMC to unveil 240-seat auditorium

special to the daily
Breckenridge, Colorado
Special to the Daily/Suzie Romig

Breckenridge Music Festival President Wally Ducayet is looking forward to scheduling six or seven concerts this winter in a new modern auditorium he believes will be a perfect fit for the festival’s annual Winter Series Concerts.

“We think it’s wonderful,” Ducayet said of the auditorium to be unveiled in August at the new Breckenridge Center of Colorado Mountain College. “We’ve been looking for a facility similar to that for a number of years.”

Kerry Farrell, executive director of the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, also is eager to work with the college to present winter chamber concert events.

“I think it’s a great place for small ensemble concerts,” Farrell said. “It’s very intimate and has perfect sightlines. I’m very excited about the space. Two hundred and forty (seats) is perfect for a small fundraising chamber music concert.”

Community members will get a chance to experience the new, sloped-floor performance venue, which doubles as an educational lecture hall, during a free, inaugural concert performance of a Rachmaninoff cello sonata on Saturday, Aug. 29. The public grand opening and special ceremonies will start at 4 p.m., concluding with a half-hour concert at 7:30 p.m. by noted pianist Debra Ayers and Taos, N.M., cellist Sally Guenther. Ayers will perform on a new Bösendorfer grand piano, which was donated as a $50,000 gift to the college by Breckenridge patrons Eileen and Paul Finkel.

Both Ayers and Ducayet said the new grand piano was an important addition to the auditorium.

“It’s something that will serve our needs quite well,” Ducayet said. “It’s very expensive to move pianos, so we won’t have to bring one in for concerts.”

The auditorium also will be home to a college speaker series that kicks off at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 with local historian Mary Ellen Gilliland. The space will provide a much-needed, medium-sized venue for both the college and local organizations.

“We hope to expand some of our programs because of the existence of the facility,” Ducayet said, adding that the festival would like to add chamber concerts in the new auditorium next summer.

The college auditorium features wireless microphones and a wireless public announcement system, television-broadcast-quality lighting, a 10-foot drop-down screen in the front of the house and the ability to patch directly into the sound system for better recording quality of everything from music to conferences to classes. The venue’s modern sound booth is equipped courtesy of a $50,000 donation by Breckenridge philanthropists Hans and Mary Jane Wurster.

Just outside the auditorium, concertgoers can gather in the bright lobby, where they can warm themselves by a gas fireplace. Or they can step outside for fresh air on the large patio.

“The auditorium is an opportunity for us to really provide a better service for our community and a better tool for education,” said Alton Scales, chief executive officer of the college’s Summit Campus.

The Colorado Mountain College Foundation continues to raise funds to sponsor the new building. Donors can have their names inscribed on auditorium seat plaques for a donation of $1,000 to $2,500 per seat, and overall naming rights to the auditorium are still available for a gift of $500,000. More information on making a donation to support the new auditorium or building is available by visiting any local Alpine Bank or First Bank location, logging on to or calling Judi LaPoint at (970) 389-6470.

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