Programs and Resources
The Fort Collins Symphony hosts a variety of community and education programs for adults and children alike, plus opportunities to learn more about the music we perform each month.
Community and Education Programs:
For 65 years, the Fort Collins Symphony’s Youth Education Series (YES) concert has enchanted and entertained 4th and 5th grade students in Larimer County. The YES concert is the first opportunity for most students to experience a live performance of professional symphonic music. The concerts have become a flagship music education program in Northern Colorado with many students acknowledging that the concerts inspired them to join band or play in an orchestra. Each year, over 3,500 students attend this engaging and interactive event over five performances
The Musical Zoo is an annual education event hosted by the Friends of the Symphony that provides a variety of musical entertainment for the young and the young at heart. Each year, we feature a Petting Zoo where children observe, hold, and play various instruments. Enjoy short performances by Middle School and High School students and a Grand Finale performance by the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra.
Join us for an afternoon of incredible fun! It is a musical adventure for all, with activities designed especially for children 3 to 12 years, their families, and friends. Volunteers needed and welcomed!
B Sharp is a community research program launched in partnership between the Fort Collins Symphony and Colorado State University to study the beneficial effects of live music, social connection, and community support on dementia patients and their caregivers.
Participants are given the opportunity to attend five live Signature Series Concerts, pre- and post-concert receptions, and opportunities to meaningfully interact with others.
When social distancing became more critical in early 2020, your Fort Collins Symphony saw the value in providing virtual concerts. On our Videos and Virtual Concerts page, you’ll find short videos and performances by our staff and orchestra members, interviews with guest artists from previous seasons, and a full performance of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony recorded using a 360 degree camera in the center of the orchestra!
Read the program notes for each concert and all of our past concerts in our Program Notes Archive. Written by former FCS trombonist Bill Runyan and CSU professor Dr. K. Dawn Grapes, the notes are informative and artful explorations of the music that we perform.
Visit the Program Notes Archive for current and past program notes.
With the Fort Collins Symphony Open Notes Podcast, we invite you to enjoy curated dives into the music on each concert and exclusive interviews with our guest artists.
Join our Principal Bassoonist Tom Bittinger and Cellist Beth Wells on a journey into the music and story behind each piece on our upcoming concerts, and enjoy a deep dive interview with our guest artists, hosted by volunteer Paul Kopco.
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From the lives of the composers to the process of putting it all together for one incredible concert, join Maestro Wes Kenney one hour before each Signature Series Concert for a guided tour through the night’s program.
For more information on Maestro’s Musings, see the individual listing for each concert.
Visit our ever-growing collection of blog posts and guides on everything classical music in Fort Collins. Written by our staff and guest contributors, the Fort Collins Symphony blog is your guide to the music.
Join Maestro Wes Kenney and your Fort Collins Symphony for Open Rehearsals and a taste of what’s to come! On the Thursday before most Signature Series concerts, see how the orchestra rehearses and get a behind-the-scenes look at how we put a concert together. While at the Open Rehearsal, you can fill out our scavenger hunt to be eligible to win two free tickets for that weekend’s concert.
For more information on Open Rehearsals, see the individual listing for each concert.
In partnership with your Fort Collins Symphony, the Friends of the Symphony are pleased to provide a free lecture series on the Wednesday before each Signature Series Concert. Join CSU professor Dawn Grapes, PhD for an entertaining and wonderfully informative journey through the lives of the composers featured in each concert. Light refreshments will be served and brown bag lunches are welcome. Attendees will also have a chance to win a drawing for Symphony concert tickets.
Composer Talks are held at the Old Town Library from noon to 1 p.m. on the Wednesday before each Signature Series Concert.
For more information on Composer Talks, see the individual listing for each concert.
New to Classical Music, the Fort Collins Symphony, or our venues? Want to learn more about your Fort Collins Symphony, what to expect at a concert, or how you can make the most of your symphony experience?
Then visit our Newcomers Guide below for the answers to all these questions and more!