Bravo! Vail’s free summer programs are ‘music to the ears’ for everyone |

Bravo! Vail’s free summer programs are ‘music to the ears’ for everyone

Jim Palermo
Musically Speaking
Anthony Thornton/Special to the Daily

One of Bravo! Vail’s best kept secrets is its wide variety of free education and community engagement programs offered all year long, but especially in the summertime.

This summer, Bravo! Vail’s expanded series of free concerts is music to the ears. Bravo! Vail will present 14 free, hour-long chamber music concerts at locations such as Vail Interfaith Chapel, The Chapel at Beaver Creek, Edwards Interfaith Chapel and locations in Gypsum and elsewhere throughout the Valley.

Just the other day, virtuoso string players from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performed Tchaikovsky at the Vail Interfaith Chapel to a near capacity crowd, and later that afternoon Bravo! Vail Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott performed Haydn piano sonatas at the Chapel at Beaver Creek. The riches offered in the free concert series truly represent “the sound of extraordinary.” Upcoming free concerts feature members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic, as well as the all-male vocal ensemble Cantus and the Jasper String Quartet.

The Free Family Concert is one of Bravo! Vail’s annual gifts to the community. No tickets are needed for this informal introduction to symphonic music on July 14 featuring the National Repertory Orchestra. Gates open at 10 a.m. with Bravo! Vail’s Instrument Petting Zoo and family activities. The concert begins at 11 a.m., making it the perfect opportunity to combine a picnic with the enjoyment of beautiful music.

The Instrument Petting Zoo is a hands-on experience for young people with real orchestral instruments — it’s a chance to hold and play woodwinds, percussion, brass and strings. It travels all summer long to events and locations throughout the Vail Valley.

Bravo! Vail’s Before the Music pre-concert lecture series also offers unique insight by featured speakers and musicologists who provide in-depth perspective on composers and repertoire for concerts throughout the summer. These lectures are held at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and Vail Mountain School. Music on the Move is another program that brings music to new places. Small mobile ensembles will perform in casual and beautiful settings around the Vail Valley. Catch them if you can.

One of the most exciting and just plain fun programs Bravo! Vail offers is Little Listeners at the Library. Last week, more than 50 young people ages three through seven, plus their parents and other young-at-heart patrons, enjoyed an informative performance by musicians from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Vail Library. There are nine more performances of Little Listeners at the Library in July alone.

Youth Programs are also a year-round focus for Bravo! Vail. The core program during the school year is Bravo! Vail’s After-School Piano Program. Children in second through seventh grade, from Vail to Leadville and all points in between, participate in half-hour classes each week. Piano instructors introduce fundamental music concepts and basic music reading skills to more than 180 children annually at only $2 per lesson. Scholarships are available for free lessons to make the program accessible to more families. Watching these young people progress throughout the course of the school year is an exhilarating experience.

In addition, Bravo! Vail’s Instrument Bank offers Eagle and Lake County schools much needed instruments and music supplies to fortify their local school music programs. Each year, Bravo! Vail purchases and repairs many school instruments for our communities.

Access to Bravo! Vail has never been easier. With a variety of free as ticketed performances, Bravo! Vail is committed to reaching everyone throughout the Vail Valley with the world’s greatest quality music.

Jim Palermo is Bravo! Vail’s executive director. For more information, visit or call 970-827-5700.

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