National Repertory Orchestra musicians perform free concerts in Summit County |

National Repertory Orchestra musicians perform free concerts in Summit County

National Repertory Orchestra musicians perform during the summer's first Front Porch series free public concert June 27. Tickets for the NRO end-of-season party are $60 per person and are now available for purchase through the National Repertory Orchestra by calling (970) 453-5825 or visiting
John O’Conner / | National Repertory Orchestra

Free National Repertory Orchestra performances

Front Porth concert

Date: Today

Time: 5 p.m.

Location: Breckenridge Associates Real Estate, 229 S. Main Street, Breckenridge

Music on Main Street

Date: July 20

Time: 1 p.m.

Location: Main Street Outlets, 211 S. Main Street, Breckenridge

Free concert

Date: July 24

Time: 10 a.m.

Location: Breckenridge Recreation Center, 880 Airport Rd,, Breckenridge

Front Porch concert

Date: July 25

Time: 5 p.m.

Location: Breckenridge Associates Real Estate, 229 S. Main Street, Breckenridge

The National Repertory Orchestra isn’t interested in keeping its music bottled up in the concert hall. It wants to spread out into the community, sifting its notes through the air and everyday sounds of Summit County.

One of the ways it does this is through free public concerts performed throughout the summer at a variety of locations. The Brown Bag Lunch series, the Front Porch series and various concerts in Breckenridge, Frisco and Silverthorne serve as ways for people to enjoy chamber music by NRO musicians at no charge.

“It helps to promote our evening concerts, and it helps to expose more people to our concerts and to the National Repertory Orchestra,” said Julie Chandler, director of marketing and development for the NRO.

Between the free chamber concerts and the NRO’s outreach programs to the hospital, local schools and other organizations, the musicians perform around 30 free concerts in the eight weeks they are in Summit County.

“There are some incredible musicians here this summer that are doing wonderful pieces that showcase who they are in small ensembles,” said Cecile Forsberg, the artistic and operations director for the NRO. “It’s a really good chance to see our orchestra members in a smaller, more intimate setting.”

Brown Bag Lunch series

The Brown Bag Lunch series takes place at the Breckenridge Theatre. Twice during the summer, the public is invited to bring a lunch and listen to classical music pieces played by ensembles of NRO musicians. The musicians introduce themselves at the start of the concert and take time at the beginning of each piece to explain its history and significance.

Putting the musical pieces into context — why they were written, about which topic and by whom — helps the audience connect on a deeper level, said violinist Dillon Welch. When his group played a short piece by Bartok called “Mosquito Dance,” they explained the name and concept behind it, prompting audience members to come up afterward and say they could relate the piece to the animal.

“Sometimes when you inform the audience of what they’re going to be listening to, they pick up more; they’re more focused,” Welch said. “I think more people should do that, really, because it engages the audience.”

Fellow violinist Oliver Kot said that he appreciated the enthusiasm and interest generated by those in attendance.

“It’s nice to know that we’re appreciated and that people would come to enjoy our music in a casual setting,” he said.

Front Porch series

Similarly, the Front Porch series offers several opportunities for free music on Thursday evenings. The ensemble sets up on the sprawling front porch of Breckenridge Associates Real Estate to entertain people gathered on the lawn or passing by on Main Street.

“It’s just a wonderful experience. You’re just walking down the street and you hear this classical music and people stop and listen,” Chandler said. “It’s a really nice, just lovely thing happening in Main Street.”

Violinist Aniela Eddy enjoys the location.

“Chamber music … is supposed to be played in homes and in smaller settings,” she said, “So it was nice to be able to play on a porch. It had a good feel to it.”

Eddy and her fellow musicians also introduced themselves and spoke about the pieces they were playing.

“In this day and age, being a musician, it doesn’t mean just show up for rehearsal and play. It means going out into the community as well,” she said. “I just believe that it’s really important to be able to make classical music, especially, accessible to the people.”

Out in the community

In addition to the two series, the musicians hold other free concerts at locations around the county, including the Breckenridge Recreation Center, the Main Street Outlets and The North Face store in Breckenridge, the Silverthorne Outlets and Frisco.

Despite their busy schedule, the musicians said they have enjoyed the experiences playing in public locations, as opposed to a formal concert setting.

“Something I love about playing music is that you get to affect people’s lives when you’re playing music, so it’s great to be in that setting because they love it so much,” Welch said. “And because you know that they’re going to love it, and you can see the enthusiasm when you’re talking to these people and see how interested they are, that affects how we play the music, as well, because we know they’re involved, and I think that makes our performances on our side more exciting and more involved.”

There will be four more free performances by the NRO musicians this summer.

“We just want to get out in to the community and expose people to classical music and our wonderful musicians,” Chandler said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.