National Repertory Orchestra to thank emergency workers with benefit concert |

National Repertory Orchestra to thank emergency workers with benefit concert

Crews battle the Peak 2 wildfire outside of Breckenridge on Wednesday, July 5. The National Repertory Orchestra is planning a benefit concert to honor the fire crews and all first-responders in Summit County.
Hugh Carey / |

if you go

What: Richard Strauss’ “Alpine Symphony” presented by National Repertory Orchestra

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

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

Info: Tickets are $25 to $40. Call 970-547-3100, or go to

For its second-to-last performance of the season, the National Repertory Orchestra is recasting Wednesday’s concert featuring maestro Michael Stern in honor of Summit County’s emergency services and first responders.

The idea for a benefit concert was ignited by recent wildfires that forced evacuations outside Breckenridge in Summit County. Ultimately, the blaze was contained, no one was seriously hurt and none of the nearby homes burned.

Still, it was an eye-opening experience for many people who live and work here, including those at NRO, said Kathleen Clabby, director of development.

“The wildfires that happened a couple weeks ago were a starting point for it,” Clabby said of the benefit concert in of support first responders and emergency workers.

Altogether, the NRO has more than 100 musicians, summer interns and staff in town for the summer concert series, she said. Many of them are here without their cars and other forms of transportation, and so when the fires flared up, the NRO began making evacuation plans for all those people who otherwise could be stranded with few options.

“It brought to light everything that we take for granted with emergency responders,” Clabby said of the wildfire and subsequent evacuations. “And so we decided we want to do something to recognize them.”

Clabby was careful to point out that while the wildfires sparked the idea, the benefit concert isn’t meant to solely honor the fire crews. Rather, she said, the NRO hopes to recognize all emergency personnel and first responders.

To do this, the NRO will donate a portion of the ticket sales and collect donations at Wednesday’s concert. The groups that stand to benefit are Flight For Life, Summit Medical Center Health Foundation, Summit County Animal Control, Summit County K-9 Unit, Summit County Rescue Group, Summit County Water Rescue Team and the Summit County Emergency Services Training Center.

In addition to collecting donations and offering first responders free tickets, the NRO is also asking people to submit any images they may have of emergency responders to be shown in a slideshow during intermission. Photo submissions can be sent to

What’s more, Clabby said, is they intend to make the concert a regular event.

“It will be the first of many hopefully,” she said. “We want to make it an annual concert for first responders.”

For the concert, Stern will conduct Richard Strauss’ “Alpine Symphony,” a piece that celebrates every facet of nature.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. Tickets are $25 to $40. For more, call 970-547-3100 or go to

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