Steamboat Strings concert emphasizes collaboration in arts community |

Steamboat Strings concert emphasizes collaboration in arts community

Nicole Inglis

The local photography of Rod Hanna, Jim Steinberg and Judy Jones will be featured in a multimedia presentation of Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring" on Saturday night at Strings Music Pavilion. Tickets are $25.

— It began with just an idea and 2,500 captivating images of Routt County life and landscape taken by local photographers Rod Hanna, Judy Jones and Jim Steinberg.

Now, on Saturday night, the artwork of the three renowned artists will meet with a 13-piece classical ensemble casting Aaron Copland's “Appalachian Spring” to the rafters of the Strings Music Pavilion in a multimedia presentation.

What happened in between?

Well, that's where Mike Burks comes in.

A live television producer and Emmy Award recipient for his work on NFL on Fox, Burks is a Steamboat resident with a background that was essential in producing the Strings Heritage Concert "Appalachian Spring," which takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets for the performance are $25 in honor of Strings' 25th anniversary season, in which festival organizers are emphasizing collaboration within the arts community.

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The way this concert came together is a shining example of that collaboration on a local level.

Along with Michael Bye and Jamey Lamar, Burks spent the better part of two months editing the photos along with a recording of the music. They pared the content down to 800 photos and arranged them to crescendo and peak along with the nuances in Copland's classic piece. Some photos linger for longer than others, and some imprint just a fleeting moment on the viewer's eye.

"I've cut a lot of music pieces in live sports, and when you can integrate the perfect piece of music with the perfect image, it's a powerful way to go," he said. "This isn't by any means an MTV music video. The art is so spectacular, you want to have the images there long enough for people to enjoy them. And with a live performance, it's a challenge in that regard.

"In a live performance, it's a living, breathing organism, and you're reacting to the music."

The photographs coupled with the music offers a multisensory art experience that Jones said is “amazing.”

"Visually, it's incredible because (Burks) pauses for certain lengths of time as the music pauses, and as it reaches a crescendo, the photographs do, too," she said, having seen a live rehearsal of the production.

"And it's all Steamboat. My breath was taken away, and the music is so fabulous."

Strings Music Festival music director Andrés Cárdenes said this particular production couldn't have the same effect if it were performed anywhere else in the world.

"The unique thing is that it's indigenous to Steamboat and the area," he said. "It's really the intellectual property of our area."

“Appalachian Spring” is the final of three pieces to be performed Saturday. Before intermission, a sextet featuring a piano solo will perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major.

The first piece of the night will be “Anitié” by Eugene Ysaÿe. In English, Amitié means "friendship," an important concept in Saturday's concert and the entire summer Strings season

"Our 25th anniversary is not only about music and about our audience and not only about chamber music and orchestra, but more than anything, it's about friendship," Cárdenes said. "It's about the friendships we have amongst our friends and the music and the audience. This circle is something that connects us all."

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

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