NRO attracts with its quantity, quality of music
BRECKENRIDGE – Intensity. It’s not for everyone. More than 600 musicians, aged 18-28, found that out when selections were made final for the National Repertory Orchestra’s 2006 season. Among the 88 who made it into the eight-week summer internship in symphony music, some are doing it to stay in shape while their professional orchestra gig is out of session. Some, still in high school, are prepping for a music major in college. Still others are interested in fine-tuning their auditioning skills to land a job. All of these top musicians, however, have a common interest – the exhaustive experience the NRO has to offer through a demanding schedule of orchestral concerts and rehearsals.”Going through that much literature with the same ensemble is a great way to gain experience,” said clarinetist Chris Stoutenborough, who was selected from an audition in California.18-year-old Cynthia Black, the youngest musician to make the NRO cut this year, said, “It’s a great way to learn. We’ll go through it so fast with a concert every week.””In professional jobs it’s always a plus to have firsthand knowledge of a piece,” said Alex Rosenfeld, horn player selected for the season.Maestro Carl Topilow is entering his 29th year as music director and principal conductor for the NRO.”We offer a really wide range of experiences from playing not only standard orchestra repertoire, but also some of the lighter music, music of Hollywood, Fourth of July stuff, etc.”The intensity and variance of the repertoire is in line with another goal of the summer program – giving attention to the musicians and their possible careers as a whole.”They are in a position where they are going to be facing the world,” Topilow said. “They not only perform at a high level,” he said, “… They are also introduced to people successful in the field, seeing what it takes to get to that point.”
During the internship, the NRO musicians are given one-on-one attention by players in professional orchestras during visits by the New York Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and others who stop in.”They can tell them what it’s like and what to expect (working in a professional orchestra),” Topilow said.The conductor said he also plans to go over each taped audition with the individual musician. Rounding out the experience is the Career Perspective Program, which includes a series of seminars and classes in fields in the periphery such as music therapy and education. There’s even a class on finances specific to a musician’s lifestyle.The NRO’s reputation doesn’t hurt either as a draw for musicians to the summer festival. In its 46th season, the nonprofit continues its mission of promoting careers in orchestral music and Topilow sees those results in his travels. He said he recently conducted an orchestra with 10 NRO alums.”Any place I go, wherever I go to conduct, there are always people I know,” he said.The location of the internship in Breckenridge is a bonus for many.”I hope to be able to do some camping, whether before or after the festival,” Rosenfeld said. Black also was looking forward to the trip: “I love going to Colorado,” she said. “It’s so pretty. If it were winter I’d go skiing.”The musicians, which will arrive in June, are provided housing in various Breckenridge condos and are given $50 gift certificates to City Market once a week. The NRO spends about $8,500 on each student of the program.With either two rehearsals a day or a rehearsal and a concert along with the seminars, the musicians won’t find much extra time on their hands, but are given a few scheduled days off.
Look for the NRO musicians rehearsing at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge starting June 11. The concert season begins June 17. Rehearsals are open the public. The full schedule and ticket information is available at http://www.nromusic.com.Leslie Brefeld can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13622, or email@example.com.National Repertory 2006 Summer ScheduleAll performance take place at the Riverwalk Center in downtown Breckenridge• June 17: “Nature, Love and Life”• June 24: “A Musical Passport”• June 28: “Russian Passions”• June 30: “Broadway and Beyond”
• July 1: “A Night for Hollywood”• July 8: Stephan Sanderling, guest conductor• July 12: Andrew Litton, guest conductor• July 15: “Art and Music”• July 19: “Celebrating Mozart’s 250th Birthday”• July 27: “Joint Classical Concert”• July 28: “Pops Concert”• July 30: “Showcase of Tomorrow’s Stars”• Aug. 2: JoAnn Falletta, guest conductor• Aug. 5: Season Finale, “Honoring Heroes”
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