A camp for ‘musician athletes’ | SteamboatToday.com

A camp for ‘musician athletes’

Many students venture to the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory to work an impressive faculty staff from across the country.

“We’ve been building staff and faculty throughout the years,” said Ernest Richardson, CEO and artistic director of RMSC. “Traditionally, we’ve sought out individuals interested in the overall method and process unique to RMSC.”

The Summer Conservatory is a music school and festival that focuses on the study and performance of chamber music. The school is held on the campus of The Lowell Whiteman School outside of Steamboat Springs.

And the curriculum is no walk in the park. After morning stretches, RMSC students take part in five-hour lessons. Richardson said the pace of the camp matches the students’ learning curve – fast.

“Even for our advanced students, learning a string quartet in three weeks is difficult,” Richardson said. “At school, they might spend an entire semester on it.

“In order to make it up and down that peak, we start planning six weeks ahead. You have to work through the struggle mentally in order to complete the goal.”

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Richardson believes the focus on chamber music makes the camp unique, as does its vision of a “musician athlete.”

“RMSC is in a different place than any other program in the country,” Richardson said. “We look at the whole individual, from their good health to their musical skills.”

RMSC students and faculty hold free performances throughout the summer. This weekend’s shows demonstrate the students’ first week of training.