FCS 2023 Year in Review

As the curtains close on 2023, we’re thrilled to look back on this year of unforgettable music and memories that you built with us.

Keep reading for a peek at next year, some fun facts and figures from 2023, and the most inspiring things you told us in this year’s surveys.

Looking back at 2023:

Violinist speaking pre concert
Concertmaster Byron Hitchcock
introducing himself before
the Brilliant Beethoven concert.

The year started with five performances of Carnival of the Animals and Gregory Smith’s Zoo Song for over 4,000 students, teachers, and families at the Youth Education Series and the Friends of the Symphony Family Concert.

Then we escaped to Delight, Reflection, The Movies, and Hope with the final four concerts of our 2022-2023 season: Escape to New Realms.

In July, we prepared an Independence Day concert for the 4th of July, but the torrential rains kept us from performing.

In October and November we opened our 100th season with a sold-out performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, enchanted you with our Spellbound Halloween concert, and hosted Grammy Award-Winning guitarist Jason Vieaux at Rodrigo Reverie.

We said goodbye to some staff, orchestra members, and friends this year, but we also said hello to some new ones, including our new concertmaster Byron Hitchcock, who made his debut performance at the Brilliant Beethoven concert in October.

Looking ahead to 2024:

We are excited to:

PW square header with FOS logo
  • – present Peter and the Wolf live with dancers from Canyon Concert Ballet and The Thrill of the Orchestra at the Friends of the Symphony Family Concert in January,
  • – host Colorado Symphony Concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams as a featured soloist in February,
  • – perform Mozart’s final symphony, the “Jupiter,” in March,
  • – sponsor a retrospective series at the Lyric Cinema on the history of film music in March,
  • – take you through 100 years of film music at our Spring Pops Concert in April,
  • – and end the season with Brahms’ 2nd symphony and Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto featuring pianist Zhu Wang in May.

What will the rest of 2024 bring? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out 😉.

Fun Facts and Figures: Some of what YOU did (and helped us do) in 2023:

YOU filled the Lincoln Center and sold out the opening concert of our 100th season: Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

The 2023 Youth Education Series reached over 4,000 students from Fort Collins and nearby cities, and 905 kids and their families Escaped to the Zoo with us at the Friends of the Symphony Family Concert in January.

With an average orchestra of 60 people, and an average of three 2.5-hour rehearsals for each of our 8 concerts in 2023, our musicians collectively spent a total of 4,800 hours rehearsing and performing for you this year. That’s two-hundred 24-hour days, or six-hundred 8-hour workdays.

191 of you joined us via livestream this year (191 households, that is), and an incredible 7,297 of you joined us in person for a concert at the Lincoln Center or at Timberline Auditorium.

Timpanist Mike Tetreault demonstrates the timpani
FCS Timpanist Mike Tetreault talking with
music students Open Notes outreach initiative.

Over 12,000 of you visited our website for tickets, concert information, and to read our blog posts.

You watched our virtual performance of Peter and the Wolf 7,042 times in 2023. Please join us to see Peter and the Wolf live at our Family Concert on January 21, 2024.

Our email/newsletter subscribers grew from 2,177 to 2,815 in 2023 which means that almost 30% of the people reading each of our emails is new this year. Welcome!!!

80 of you raised a total of $17,812 through Colorado Gives Day to support live music and music education in Fort Collins. Combined with the other gifts and recurring donations you made this year, you blew our goals out of the water! Help us continue bringing great music by making an End-of-Year gift or setting up a recurring donation here.

You listened to the FCS Open Notes Podcast 1,751 times this year, and your favorite episodes were: “What does a Conductor Do?” “How to Pick the Best Orchestra Seats,” and “What is a Symphony?” Listen to every episode at FCSymphony.org/Podcast.

You helped us launch a new outreach initiative as part of our Open Notes Program where students have the opportunity to observe and participate in the behind-the-scenes works of a professional orchestra.

What You Said in 2023

“I felt the worries of the world melt away, as I always do after hearing the Fort Collins Symphony.”

“The concerts make me feel transported from everyday stresses, and help me totally relax in the moment.”

“I appreciate closing my eyes and taking in the beauty and quality of the music. I also appreciate Maestro Kenney’s relaxed comments throughout the program. And it’s nice to see people dress up or dress down according to their taste.”

“I was amazed that compositions written 250 years ago can still captivate and touch people today. The universality and timelessness of the music is one thing — that musicians today still desire to study and perform these works is another.”

“I loved where the music transported me to. The sound in the concert hall was amazing. I left very happy.”

“I enjoyed the concert. While my children wanted to move a lot (as they often do), I saw moments in their faces where they were in awe of something they just heard, I watched my older kiddo guess the animals for the zoo song (he LOVES animals), I watched both of them try to imitate the dancers at various points, and I so appreciated the performers and their ability to continue with such skill even with all the kids moving and talking in different ways at different times. I love the opportunity for kids to experience a concert and further develop their appreciation of music with more age appropriate audience behavior expectations. Thank you for doing this.”

“Beautiful! Thank you for your dedication to our future and for your concrete involvement in the community and in our schools. It is deeply appreciated. Seeds of future dreams were planted today!!”

“It was fantastic and emotionally uplifting! The energy of the entire symphony and Wes was contagious!”

What was your favorite part of 2023?

Use the contact form here to let us know!

Or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.

Here’s to a great NEW YEAR, and many more to come!

The musicians, staff, and board of your Fort Collins Symphony