by Mel Fenson
Performing before a wildly enthusiastic audience that filled every seat in Boulder’s Chautauqua Auditorium and spilled into the lawn outside, the 2008 Colorado Music Festival put on it’s annual Independence Day performance playing an assortment of great pops selection's and paid tribute to America’s Armed Forces with thrilling arrangements of patriotic songs. The orchestra was directed by Scott O’Neil, who is the assistant conductor of the Utah Symphony, and an associate conductor of the Colorado Symphony.

The program included music from Loewe/Gordon’s Brigadoon, selections from Bernstein/Mason’s West Side Story, and Stravinsky’s Berceuse and Finale from The Firebird Suite.

During the patriotic segment, the orchestra played Gould’s American Salute, two Sousa marches - The Thunderer and Semper Fideles. A poinant piece, William's Hymn to the Fallen brought a hush to the audience, then Lowden’s Armed Forces Salute to the Army, the Coast Guard, the Air Force and the Navy generated loud cheering and clapping from the audience. Members of each branch of the military were asked to stand, when their song was played. The audience then joined in to sing America the Beautiful and the performance ended with a stirring arrangement of Sousa’s Stars and Stripes.

Founded in 1976, the Colorado Music Festival is now under the direction of Michael Christie, who was appointed Music Director in 2000. The festival performs classical music during its summer season and attracts audiences of nearly 20,000 music lovers each season. The programming includes classical music, world music and works of 20th century composers. The Colorado Music Festival, now in its 31st summer season, brings together exceptional musicians from around the world.

For the Summer Music Schedule,


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