When Colorado College kicked off its annual Summer Music Festival in 1984, it was just 10 days long and involved about eight faculty artists and 24 students. Today, 35 years later, the festival has grown significantly.
In a new series of interviews conducted by local journalist David Sckolnik in honor of the anniversary year, the festival’s co-founder, first director and CC Professor of Music Michael Grace credits that growth to those who came after him—and one person in particular. Grace held the position for three or four years before becoming CC’s dean of summer session and having to relinquish his director role. It changed hands easily—his wife, Susan Grace, who was already connected to the festival as a faculty pianist, stepped in.
“I got Sue to take it over,” Grace told Sckolnik, “and that’s when it began to really take off.” Susan Grace first served as artistic director and later as music director—a role she continues to hold today.
This year’s three-week festival features 27 faculty artists—23 of whom are returning performers—and 54 advanced student musician fellows. Community members will be able to attend 35 musical concerts and presentations on campus (a very intentional number), in addition to six community outreach concerts, four pre-concert lectures and interactive lobby exhibits.
The Festival Artists Concerts, Festival Orchestra Concerts and free Music at Midday events are schedule staples—and favorites for many locals—and there are multiple opportunities to attend one of these performances through June 22.
In addition, three specific events stand out on the 2019 festival calendar:
On June 7, (Un)Common (En)Counterpoint is a free, multi-disciplinary collaboration, including work by New York-based installation artist Jessica Segall, contemporary composer and CC Assistant Professor of Music Iddo Aharony, CC Assistant Professor of Dance Studies Pallavi Sriram, and the 2019 Music Festival fellows.
A Family Affair, June 16, pairs renowned American pianist and regular featured festival guest William Wolfram in recital with his daughter, Lauren Wolfram, a Carolina Ballet dancer and her pas de deux partner, Carolina Ballet principal Kiefer Curtis.
And the final Festival Orchestra Concert, conducted by Scott Yoo on June 22, will both honor retired CC faculty member Donald Jenkins and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CC Tour Choir, which Jenkins founded. The Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble and nationally renowned soloists will join the performance of Brahms’ Requiem.
Find Festival Details
Including this schedule of performances here.