NRO celebrates 50 years, part 1 | SummitDaily.com

NRO celebrates 50 years, part 1

Kimberly Nicoletti
Special to the DailyBlue Jeans Symphony was the nickname for the Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra when it was in Estes Park, from 1960-66. Walter Charles, founder and music director is shown in the middle.
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Carl Topilow has been the musical director since 1977, sometimes working for no pay to keep the NRO afloat.

Years of Service: 1982 I have a very bad memory for dates and times. I suspect that I may be the earliest president in the group listed. I was elected to the Colorado Philharmonic board when Walter and Virginia Charles were still around; Carl Topilow was the assistant director.Why did you become president?: I became president after a while and during a difficult time for the orchestra (when wasn’t it difficult!). The lodge where the musicians stayed was having difficulties with the county with such things as emergency egress and such-like were a significant issue; we even looked at the possibility of housing the orchestra at School of Mines for the summer season. It was also the time of transition from the Colorado Philharmonic to the National Repertory Orchestra. Memorable Moments: After the orchestra left Evergreen I tried to keep some ties with it and we started the Evergreen Music Festival, to bring them back a few times a season. But I think the highlight of NRO concerts was when we had the 1812 at Heritage Grove, a tiny little park in the middle of Evergreen. Somehow, we talked the Army to bring up a howitzer to back up the bells and bombs crescendo. They positioned it down by Bear Creek and at the right moment, the howitzer fired its blanks–believe me it was memorable! I wonder if we could pull that off now? I have always loved my close and distant relationship with the orchestra. I am not a musician, but I love music enough to know that it fulfills a very important role in the growth of a musician and when the NRO performs, it is pure excitement! I know that its graduates have populated some of the finest orchestras in the world, and I am sure that they probably have fond memories of their summers in Evergreen and in Breckenridge that they carry on to their careers at La Scala or any of the numerous Philharmonics around the world. Lifetime Profession: I have been a small business owner in Evergreen for most of my adult life. If you had to be reincarnated as a musical instrument, which would it be, and why? I played clarinet for six years in high school and college. Therefore, I don’t want to be reincarnated as a clarinet. I would rather come back as a French horn. Thought about a drum, but I don’t want someone to beat on me.Favorite song: All the works of Les MiserablesWhat musical terms describe your personality, or your approach to life, the most? Capriccio (quick, improvisational, spirited)

Years of Service: President 1983-1984Why did you become president?: I was recruited to the board by then-president Ted La Montagne. I already enjoyed attending concerts and interacting with the musicians. Ted got me interested in the then CPO’s mission. I agreed to become president because Ted had worked hard to get the CPO back on a sound financial footing and I wanted to help complete the job. Lifetime profession: After several years of work in the public sector, I have served as president of three different service businesses — Children’s World, VICORP Restaurants and professional Assist Corporation. Memorable moments: Stravinsky “Firebird” at the Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs (CPO 1984). Public reconciliation with Ginny Charles at the Silver Anniversary Gala (1984: Brown Palace). Winning a $75,000 NEA Advancement Grant in fall 1984. The culmination of a through strategic planning process and deficit reduction campaign. Thoughts on NRO reaching 50: “An idea so compelling it refuses to die.”

Dates of Service: Served on the NRO Board (Colorado Philharmonic at that point), 1982-1985, president 1984-1985How did get involved with the NRO? My recollection is that Bob Benson asked if I would be interested in being on the board. They were looking into creating a new facility for the CPO and knew I had had some construction experience on the RTD board.Why did you become president?: I loved the music and the whole idea of the orchestra and felt we could help it increase its professional regard and support.Lifetime profession: I have been a community volunteer, with a career in transportation policy. Other emphases include support for the arts and leadership in the League of Women Voters.Memorable Moments: Going with the CPO (NRO) to perform at the Lincoln Center in D.C. in the mid 1980s was certainly the highlight. The concert was stunning and even included Charlton Heston as reader for one piece.Thoughts on NRO reaching 50: Now, on the NRO 50th Anniversary, the program is a real jewel in the musical training of our country’s orchestra-bound youth.If you had to be reincarnated as a musical instrument, which would it be, and why? I would love to be a flute – so free, delicate yet brilliant in sound.What musical terms describe your personality, or your approach to life, the most? Although others would see me differently, I’m sure, I would place myself somewhere between Neoclassic (crisp and direct) and Accelerando (notation that indicates to gradually quicken tempo).

Dates of Service: President 1987-88 I remember it was the same time that I had the Red Riv. (See photo: 1983 Riveria) It was my retirement present to myself! How did get involved with the NRO? David Jones talked me into it! Why did you serve as president? At the time we had a home in Keystone at Key West Farms. This was year that the Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra became the National Repertory Orchestra and moved to Keystone. Lifetime Profession: I worked at Gulf Oil Corporation all over the world: Japan, Pittsburgh, Venezuela, Kansas, Denver. We had three children. Memorable Moments? John Rutter bought the big tent and put it up at Keystone. We had a big Gala and Doc Severinson played that season. Doc had to stop in the middle of his performance and take a big breath due to the altitude! Thoughts on NRO 50th Anniversary? We had a marvelous time!

Name: David Jones, president in 1989 How did you get involved in the NRO? My wife was Operations Manager for the NRO. Ralph Tufts got me involved when we were over $250,000 in debt. Why did you serve as president? We had to look at all options to save the orchestra. I met with ski resorts, Vail, Copper and Keystone to see if they would be interested. Keystone made the best offer. Lifetime Profession: Investment Business. Problem Solver. Currently have a consulting business to help nonprofits. Memorable Moments? A lot of people wrote checks that year to keep the NRO alive. It was satisfying to turn the corner from the large debt.

Name: Terry L. Barnhart Dates of Service: President 1990: I was involved near the end of the Keystone era. Right after David Jones’ term. We were a struggling organization. How did get involved with the NRO? Through the folks at Keystone management. They encouraged me to get involved Why did you serve as President? The orchestra was struggling financially, and I was able to help make a big difference in its recovery. Lifetime Profession: Owned and operated Barnhart Marketing Advertising & Public Relations for 30+ years. Sold the agency in 2004. Now consulting on my own. Memorable Moments? Every moment I have been involved with the NRO has been memorable. I admire and respect Carl so much. Glad he stayed involved for so long.And, the young musicians: Can’t praise the NRO enough for helping them with their careers. The annual Gala events have also been wonderful. Thoughts on NRO 50th Anniversary? Incredible milestone a time to reflect. The NRO is a Colorado jewel. If you had to be reincarnated as a musical instrument, which would it be, and why? I played clarinet for six years in high school and college. Therefore, I don’t want to be reincarnated as a clarinet. I would rather come back as a French horn. Thought about a drum, but I don’t want someone to beat on me.Favorite song: All the works of “Les Miserables”What musical terms describe your personality, or your approach to life, the most? Capriccio (quick, improvisational, spirited)


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