Opening Night Orchestra concert kicks off Strings’ classical series in Steamboat Springs |

Opening Night Orchestra concert kicks off Strings’ classical series in Steamboat Springs

This weekend

If You Go…

What: Opening Night Orchestra

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 27

Where: Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Strings Rd.

— Joseph Haydn’s “Trumpet Concerto” is possibly one of the most important concertos in the repertoire of a trumpet player.

This concerto has allowed trumpet players to play a series of notes that were unheard of in the eighteenth century when it was developed.

If You Go…

What: Opening Night Orchestra

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 27

Where: Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Strings Rd.

And Saturday night, Strings music director Michael Sachs will make his Strings Music Festival debut at the Opening Night Orchestra concert where he’ll perform as the soloist for the famous concerto and serve as orchestra conductor.

Sachs has invited a number of notable musicians from all over the country to create the 35-member Strings Festival Orchestra that will perform at the Strings Music Pavilion throughout the summer. On Saturday, the orchestra will be playing selections from the works of Mozart and Haydn.

In anticipation of the start of the classical series, Explore Steamboat spoke with Sachs about his background and the inspiration for the Opening Night Orchestra concert.

Explore Steamboat: How are you able to balance that conductor and trumpet player role?

Michael Sachs: Well, with a piece like the Haydn, there are two sections or parts of the piece. There will be times when the orchestra is playing and others where I will be playing along. At the beginning of each movement, I will be setting the tempos conducting, and everyone will be focused collectively to find their way without me continually conducting. It’s a chamber type of reactive thing that begins to happen to create that ebb and flow. It all organically fits and works well together.

ES: What is it about the trumpet that makes it unique compared to other instruments with its capabilities and range?

MS: Everyone will tell you that it sounds most like a human voice, and the great thing is that you can play a wide range of styles. I’ve played in rock bands, jazz groups, etc. You can do so many things stylistically and color-wise to create this fanfare that is brassy and bold. What drew me to the trumpet is that it’s challenged me to evolve my playing and search into those different realms further and deeper.

ES: What was the deciding moment that made you want to be a musician and start playing the trumpet?

MS: It’s a funny story actually. I was 4 years old and my sister, who is a year older, was going into kindergarten and we went to a band concert at the school in Santa Monica before she started school, and there was this kid in the band who got up and played a trumpet solo. Right then, I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever heard. But, I had no front teeth at the time. So I had to wait until I was about 6 and a half when I got my first two teeth in to get my first trumpet. My parents were not musicians. My mom played the piano for fun, and my dad was tone deaf as a brick wall. But I’ve really enjoyed it over the years with a lot of great support from friends, family and teachers. Eventually, I had some successes and came around to take a path to this point.

ES: What about the other musicians who will accompany you?

MS: Some are from Cleveland and a number of them are colleagues from all over the place. Anywhere from Pittsburg, Las Angeles, Atlanta, Minnesota, Florida, Milwaukee, etc. Many of these musicians have crossed paths in a number of different places and times. It’s not like a blank slate. They’ve known of each other or have played with each other before. I wanted to have the top level symphony players in the country, and I was fortunate enough to get many of these top players here. It’s people who I was friends with, people I admire and people who have inspired me over the years. It’s like the chemistry of putting together a sports team. You need that combination of really high level talent but also those who play specific roles and have that inherent chemistry and people who can catapult the group rather than just individual talent. They help create something has that kind of chemistry and spark.

ES: What can the crowd expect to see at this concert?

MS: What’s really nice about this program is that it was purposely crafted and timed to have the Mozart and wonderful strings section playing. It goes through the full spectrum of emotions and ways of playing to create this wonderful music. The first strings piece will be what was seen here traditionally but then the Haydn will be something different but with a similar style. It traverses lots of different grounds stylistically. There will be upbeat moments, more serious moment moments, and everything in between.

ES: Why do you think this concert will be a good way to kick off the classical strings season?

MS: It has a lot of great energy to it and some great players coming in. It really sets the tone for everything. There is a lot of variety, it will be energetic and it will entertaining. Hopefully, people will walk out enjoying it and want to come back for more. We are excited to get everyone here and hear what this group will sound like.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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