2022 in Review, at the Fort Collins Symphony

A Look Back at 2022

We accomplished a lot in 2022, and we’re glad that you could join us for every step of the way. Enjoy this recap of an excellent year for classical (and popular) music in Fort Collins.

Thanks to your continued support, we performed 28 excellent concerts this year for over 15,000 audience members. Oh, and did we mention that nine of those concerts were free?!

From world premieres to out-of-this-world performances, keep reading to recap all that you helped us accomplish this year.

FCS split Winds and Strings for Signature Concert 3: Solemn, Tender, and Joyful

Anthony Elliot on stage lincoln center cello
Cellist Anthony Elliott performing
Memorial to Martin Luther King

In February we got back together for the first time in 2022 to perform our 3rd Signature Concert of the Season. This unique concert featured the orchestra split in half between each act.

Before the intermission, the winds, brass, and percussion of the orchestra joined Maestro Kenney and guest artist Anthony Elliott to perform three incredible works: Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments, and Oskar Morawetz’s Memorial to Martin Luther King.

The second half of the concert featured two audience favorites performed by the FCS Strings: Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and the timeless Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber.

Updates to the Blog, Podcast, and Newcomer’s Guide

This year, our Blog, Podcast, and Newcomer’s guide went through a big overhaul!

We featured interviews with seven guest artists, published nine educational articles, and we updated our podcast and youtube channels with discussions about classical music basics.

Most popular educational posts:

How to pick the best orchestra seats. 4 steps to finding your perfect seat for a symphony concert.
What does a conductor do? 3 Steps to Conducting an Orchestra
What is a Symphony
What is a Concerto?

Listen to the FCS podcast:

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

YES concerts postponed

Each year usually starts with our Youth Education Series and Family Concert at Timberline Church. But in 2022, due to the emerging omicron variant of COVID in January, we had to postpone them.

Fortunately, with some tricky maneuvering of schedules, we found the one weekend where every member of our team, Timberline Church, and Poudre School District could reschedule, leading to…

The Busiest March in FCS History!

In March 2022, we performed NINE concerts!

  • – one Signature concert
  • – four YES concerts for Poudre School District students
  • – two YES concerts for Weld County and home-schooled families
  • – one Family Concert (with the Friends of the Symphony)
  • – one Pops Concert

It was a busy month that our staff and musicians handled with care, determination, and zest! We also couldn’t have done it without the support of our sponsors, volunteers, and audiences (YOU!).

Between six YES and one family concert, over 2,000 students, children, and families helped us premiere Gregory Smith’s interactive piece, Shave and a Haircut, and helped us once again perform the world’s first and only “wave’ at a classical music concert!

Lost in Space! With Dr. Erin Macdonald

Speaking of postponed concerts…

Originally scheduled for March 2020, the Get Lost in Space pops concert with Astrophysicist and Science Fiction Consultant Dr. Erin Macdonald finally happened in March 2022.

Erin Macdonald cosplayers star wars lost in space sci fi concert pops
Erin Macdonald and Star Wars
Cosplayers from FoCo Comic Con

Dr. Erin joined the performance to explain how science fiction movies and TV evolved through history.

That week, she also hosted a showing of Arrival at the Lyric Theatre, spoke with Larimer County students about her career mixing science and the arts, gave a lecture on the science of Star Trek at the Museum of Discovery, and lectured on the science of sci-fi before the concert.

We were also joined by the Cosplayers of Larimer County, Fort Collins Comic Con, and many other local groups that donated their time to make this a concert to remember!

An equally busy summer!

After the close of the season, we headed into a jam-packed summer! We performed chamber, full orchestra, community, and collaboration concerts in Fort Collins and Loveland.

All in all, the summer included:

  • – three Garden Concerts
  • – two Pop-Up Community Concerts
  • – The annual 4th of July concert at City Park
  • – Organ Week with CSU
  • – Police Deranged for Orchestra with Stewart Copeland (drummer for the Police)
  • – The All-Beethoven Festival with pianist David Korevaar

And, thanks to the diligent and hard work of our Executive Director Mary Kopco, we completed our Better Business Bureau certification this summer to become a registered BBB trusted Nonprofit!

Fort Collins Symphony Board after Better Business Bureau award
FCS Board receiving
our BBB accreditation

Backing up “Police” drummer Stewart Copeland

This summer we returned to the Gardens on Spring Creek, where we performed “Police Derranged for Orchestra” with “Police” drummer Stewart Copeland.

gardens on spring creek stewart copeland symphony
FCS performing with Stewart Copeland

This was one of the most exciting concerts of the year. We performed in a beautiful outdoor venue with Stewart Copeland, one of the greats of rock music. Maestro Kenney sported his Tie-Dye tuxedo (not pictured) and the musicians of the FCS rocked out!

From the review in The New Scene Weekly by Tim Van Schmidt:

“Copeland did the MC work and play his drum kit like he was filling up a stadium with sound…But, for me, the most valuable players on the stage that night were the members of the Fort Collins Symphony….When the show was revving up towards its finish with “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic,” the whole stage was rocking. That’s right, the Fort Collins Symphony was rocking, laying down a bed of sound that made the rest of Copeland’s band look good.”

Big productions in the Fall

wes kenney in a phantom of the opera costume at halloween
Maestro Kenney as
The Phantom of the Opera

Since this summer was jam-packed, we thought we might as well do the same with the fall!

We opened the season with two FCS commissions and the premiere of James David’s piece Ostinato Fantastico, which was first scheduled for May 2020. The piece was written to accompany Gustav Mahler’s 2nd symphony and the huge orchestra that it required. It wasn’t until our concert on October 1st that we had that many musicians on stage at the same time

In October, we performed our first-ever Halloween Pops Concert to rave reviews and requests for a second performance next year. We teamed up with Fort Collins Ghost Tours, Fort Collins Comic Con, and Fort Collins and Loveland Ghostbusters for a frightening evening.

From Twilight Zone to Thriller and Maestro Kenney rising out of the pit to begin Phantom of the Opera, it was a night to remember!

Ghostbuster and werewolf at halloween
four women in costumes at halloween
michael meyers at halloween

Photos by Mike Barry.

Joined by composer Stacy Garrop

In November, just three days before midterm elections, composer Stacy Garrop and narrator Donna Mejia joined us to perform The Battle for the Ballot, a work written to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment.

Local Beats, part of CTV at CSU, covered our preparation for this concert with an excellent story (below).

A strong end to 2022

We finished 2022 strong with a record-breaking Colorado Gives Day, five performances of the Nutcracker with Canyon Concert Ballet, and a look back at a huge year.

We are looking forward to the new year, where we’ll perform:

We at the FCS wish you the happiest of Holidays and all the best in the New Year. We can’t wait to see you again in 2023!