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Summit’s big sound

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
Summit Daily/Reid WilliamsConductor Kenny Evans leads the Summit Community Orchestra in rehearsal for concert Tuesday night at Summit Middle School.
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FRISCO – Summit County may be small, but it sure can produce a big sound.The Summit Community Orchestra proves that at a free concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Summit Middle School auditorium.”It’s quite extraordinary for an area with a small population like Summit County to mount the effort of a chamber orchestra,” said conductor Kenneth Evans, a retired college music professor who also co-founded the Breckenridge Music Institute. “That’s a hats off to our community.”

The orchestra began informally in 1997 and incorporated as a nonprofit the following year. It usually performs a spring and fall concert every year, but this year it also will perform a Dec. 12 show as a fundraiser for instrumental music programs in Summit County.Sunday’s fall concert includes music most people will find familiar once they hear: Bizet’s “Carmen Suite No. 1,” Vivaldi’s “Concerto in D minor,” Suppe’s “Light Cavalry Overture,” Rossini’s “The Thieving Magpie,” Dvorak’s “Slavonic Dance” and Ravel’s “Pavane for a Dead Princess.””In terms of our ability, we’ve really grown,” said orchestra president Diane Runnells. “We’re able to handle more difficult music and pull it off nicely.”

About 17-25 musicians will perform Sunday, depending on the piece. In the past, players ranging from high school students to professional musicians have been in the orchestra.”The challenge is the sophistication of the players. I like to select literature to expose the players that have more experience,” Evans said. “‘Carmen Suite’ is an attractive piece because people know the opera, and it shows off a number of really excellent players we have in the orchestra on the flute, oboe and clarinet. We have several excellent brass players, and the brass opening of the ‘Light Cavalry Overture’ highlights them. I like to show off the strings because they’re the backbone of the orchestra, and Vivaldi’s Baroque piece does that.”Evans has conducted about three concerts, and he takes his job seriously.

“We rehearse for two hours nonstop, and by the end, our knuckles are dragging on the ground,” said violinist Tony Flitcraft. “He’s very well organized, and he doesn’t put up with talking among the members when he’s talking.””It’s really been exciting to work with the orchestra this year in particular,” Evans said. “They’re just eager to do a good job, and that’s kind of fun.”Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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