National Repertory Orchestra releases ‘Blue Jeans to Breckenridge’ |

National Repertory Orchestra releases ‘Blue Jeans to Breckenridge’

The history of the National Repertory Orchestra is compiled in a new book "Blue Jeans to Breckenridge," written by NRO Board member and published novelist Janice Ward Parrish, pictured..
Special to the Daily |

In celebration of the completion of its 58th annual summer season, Breckenridge’s National Repertory Orchestra announces the publication of a new book, “Blue Jeans to Breckenridge.” This history details the NRO’s rutted path from the Orchestra’s humble origins in 1960 as the Blue Jeans Symphony Orchestra in Estes Park, where musicians worked full time as summer help for the tourist season, to its current position as a prestigious summer festival in Breckenridge. The brainchild of cellist and decorated World War II veteran Walter Charles, the orchestra began with the mission of preparing young musicians for the rigors of a professional career.

While its mission has remained the same, the organization itself has changed drastically since its beginnings over half a century ago. The nomadic Orchestra moved from Estes Park to Evergreen, to Keystone, and finally to Breckenridge, where it has performed since 1993. Judging from the embrace of the community, it appears to have found its permanent home there. Each summer, the NRO draws an orchestra of 88 talented young musicians from around the world to perform a demanding schedule of classical programming. Today only one of every 10 who audition wins a seat in the NRO, whose mission, to change the lives of young musicians and enrich the lives of Colorado residents and visitors, has remained the same as its founder’s vision.

The history is written by NRO Board member and published novelist Janice Ward Parrish. She describes this journey with an author’s wit and an insider’s knowledge. The history was compiled after extensive interviews with musicians, conductors and long-time supporters of the orchestra as well as a trove of historical documents.

The book is $10, and can be purchased online at For more information, call (970) 453-5825 or go to

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