The Summit Community Orchestra (SCO) provides local musicians of all skill levels the
opportunity to exercise their musical talents in a community orchestra setting, supports
instrumental music programs in the local schools and performs for the community’s enjoyment.
In 1995 a Summit County musician organized a quartet (two violins, one violist and one cellist)
to perform as the pit orchestra for a Backstage Theater production of “Fiddler on the Roof”.
That core group of four grew over the next few years to sixteen committed string players,
continuing to provide the music for annual musical productions including “The Sound of Music”,
“Peter Pan”, “Music Man” and “Zorba”. The group also accompanied the Summit Choral Society
in holiday performances of Handel’s Messiah and performed several concerts for the local
community. Over the years, the group has grown to include about forty musicians, including a
full contingent of string, wind, brass and percussion instruments.
The SCO rehearses from August through March, meeting for two hours weekly during those
months. Current members come from a variety of musical backgrounds including active and
retired professional musicians, educators and students. All musicians volunteer their time and
talents to participate in this community effort.
The ensemble usually presents three to four performances during the season. In the past we
have played in October at the Silverthorne Pavilion a Halloween theme concert with musicians
in costume and repertoire geared toward the younger audience. Our November concert is
traditionally a performance by just the SCO, usually first or second Sunday of the month.
The December concert alternates from year to year with different formats. Some of the most
popular formats include incorporating the talents of the local dance students to present ballet
selections from The Nutcracker and collaborating with the local community chorus to perform
choral selections from The Messiah. Other formats involved collaborations with the Summit
Community Band, Summit Choral Society and middle and high school music students for the
“High Country Holidays” performance at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.
Proving musical enjoyment to the community and encouragement for young musicians (and
adult novice musicians) have been key components of the Summit Community Orchestra since
its inception. In 2002 SCO initiated a Youth Showcase (concerto competition) open to all local
Summit County musicians in grades 6 – 12 which allowed winners the opportunity to perform as
a soloist with our orchestra in a concert usually performed in March. Scale the Summit summer
music camps for elementary through high school aged students have also been supported by
the SCO since 2008. The summer programs give young students the opportunity to explore
different musical instruments they might want to begin playing in middle school, and older
students are placed in large and small chamber ensembles to rehearse, learn and perform.