The Musical Connections program brings support to the music educators and music students of the Roaring Fork Valley by offering in-school enrichment and programming designed for students involved in their school music programs. Through programs such as AMFS Honor Ensembles, Musicians in Schools, Educational Support, and Musical Connections Concerts, teachers are able to enhance their core curriculum with quality music experiences for all involved students.
AMFS Honor Ensembles
All-Valley Honor Choir: Saturday, December 2, 2017—The fifth-annual All-Valley Honor Choir will be conducted by esteemed choral composer and conductor Andrea Ramsey. Dr. Andrea Ramsey enjoys an international presence as a composer, conductor, scholar, and music educator. Her teaching experiences range from work with adolescent and children's voices to high school and collegiate voices. She enjoys regular opportunities to conduct all-state and divisional level honor choirs, festival events at Carnegie Hall, and serves as a principal conductor for the Pacific International Young Women's Choral Festival in Eugene, Oregon. Before leaping into full time composing and guest conducting, Andrea held positions in music education and conducting at The Ohio State University and the University of Colorado, respectively.
High school choir students from Aspen to Rifle are invited to participate in the ensemble, and students will be chosen based on nominations from choir directors. Repertoire will in part be chosen based on school director recommendation to feature music that students are currently studying with their school ensembles, and singers will also enjoy the opportunity to sing at least one piece composers by our conductor Dr. Ramsey. The students will rehearse during the day on stage in Harris Concert Hall, along with professional musicians hired as section leaders. The day will conclude in a free concert Saturday evening in Harris Concert Hall at 7:30pm.
All-Valley Middle School Honor Band: Wednesday, March 14, 2018—On March 14, the talented students of the Roaring Fork Valley’s middle school band programs will be featured on stage in Harris Concert Hall in the fourth-annual All-Valley Middle School Honor Band, this year conducted by Matthew Forte. In his third appearance on the podium as conductor of the AVMSHB ensemble, Matt is sure to bring a fresh approach to rehearsal, a vivacious energy, and a wealth of experience in working with young musicians. We are so pleased to have him back!
Matthew Forte is Director of Orchestral Studies and Assistant Professor of Music History at the University of Toledo, where he supervises all aspects of the institution’s orchestral program, conducts the University of Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and teaches courses in conducting and in music history. Matthew is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where he studied with Kevin Noe, received both master’s and doctoral degrees in orchestral conducting, and served as music director of the Michigan State University Concert Orchestra. During his tenure, that ensemble was revitalized: orchestra membership nearly doubled, audience attendance tripled, and the group quickly became an indispensable part of the cultural fabric of the university as a whole. In recognition of his achievements in fostering the growth of the Concert Orchestra, Matthew was awarded both a Rasmussen Fellowship and the MSU Distinguished Teaching Citation by Michigan State University — both honors presented annually to only a handful of graduate students from the entire university community.
A trumpet player, Matt has an extensive background in music education and excels at working with youth orchestras and bands. He will spend Monday, March 12 and Tuesday, March 13 in band classrooms working with students participating in the All-Valley Middle School Honor Band event and also with full middle school band ensembles.
The All-Valley Middle School Honor Band will again feature top 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade band students from all Valley middle schools, selected based on nominations from band directors. Repertoire will in part be chosen based on school director recommendation to feature music that students are currently studying with their school ensembles. Professional musicians will be hired as principal players/section leaders within each section. The day will conclude in a free concert Wednesday evening in Harris Concert Hall at 7:00pm.
Musicians in the Schools – AMFS Residencies
AMFS works with CU Boulder and professional ensembles to bring residencies to the classrooms of the Roaring Fork Valley. The 2016-2017 school year’s offerings include:
CU Boulder - String Quartet: Ajax Quartet: (October 16-17, 2017) The University of Colorado - Boulder’s new Graduate String Quartet in Residence, the Ajax Quartet, kicks off the Musicians in the Schools programming with their first-ever visit to the Roaring Fork Valley. They’ll work with students in elementary schools across the area and with the students enrolled in the AMFS’s Beginning Strings program. During their residency, the quartet will present a performance at the Basalt Regional Library as part of the Music at the Library concert series on Tuesday, October 17 at 5:30pm.
CU Boulder – Brass Quintet and Wind Quintet: (April 9-10, 2018) For the second year in a row, both the University of Colorado Brass Quintet and the Wind Quintet will join us for a joint residency, offering interactive concerts for elementary schools, side-by-side rehearsal and masterclass opportunities for middle and high school bands, and live performances for all schools. During their residency, the brass and woodwind players will present a performance at the Basalt Regional Library as part of the Music at the Library concert series on April 10, 2018 at 5:30 pm.
Altius Quartet—String Quartet from CU Boulder: (March 15-16, 2018) The Altius Quartet returns to the Musicians in the Schools program for the fourth year in a row, this year as the AMFS’s professional residency ensemble. Altius Quartet will work with students in Roaring Fork Valley elementary and middle schools, especially those that offer the AMFS’s Beginning Strings program. Students are sure to love the four string players’ dynamic energy, brilliant playing, and always amusing and natural presentation skills! During their residency, the quartet will present a performance at the Basalt Regional Library March 16, 2018 at 5:30 pm as part of the Music at the Library concert series.
Our Education Department is happy to assist local music teachers in their classrooms. Contact Katie or Sarah to set up an appointment.
To learn more, please contact:
Katie Hone Wiltgen
Director of Education and Community Programming
970 205 5055
To support this program, please contact:
Vice President for Advancement
970 205 5060
The Musical Connections program is supported by the generosity of the Town of Basalt, Golub Family Foundation, Anne and Chris Reyes, Mary Hugh Scott, and the Colorado Creative Industries Division, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.