2022 Festival Highlights

Some of our favorite moments from our 2022 summer festival

In 2022, Music in the Mountains celebrated our 36th Anniversary Season with the return of our full orchestra to our beautiful corner of Southwest Colorado for three and a half weeks of classical music! 

From the season’s first concerts on our mobile stage on July 7th, to the final closing notes on July 31st, our 2022 Festival was a celebration of the return to the full experience of Music in the Mountains. We welcomed over sixty world-class musicians to the stage and hosted an incredible range of programming, featuring everything from free concerts on our mobile stage to dynamic performances at our mainstage venue, the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.

With so many events in just three and a half short weeks, our 2022 Festival was full of unforgettable experiences and special moments. Read on for some of the highlights from 2022’s summer classical music festival.

Taking the Show on the Road Once Again: Our Mobile Stage and Free Community Concerts Return!

What was initially created as a response to the 2020 pandemic has become a beautiful, essential, and ongoing part of our Festival. We were incredibly excited to once again kick off our Festival with free world-class classical music concerts throughout the region on our custom-built mobile stage!

Over the course of July 7th, 8th, and 9th, we hosted nearly a dozen free concerts on our mobile stage, featuring musicians from our Festival Orchestra performing in our brass ensemble, woodwinds ensemble, and strings ensemble. 

These free community concerts were held around the region in Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio, Pagosa Springs, and Mancos, and are designed to provide an incredible, intimate way for our community to experience and discover the music. We look forward to continuing to share this experience with our communities for years to come!

Our Return to Some of our Region's Most-Loved Venues

What a spectacular sight it was to see our full Festival Orchestra together once again on the Community Concert Hall stage! From “Treehouse Treasure” to “Garden of Imagination,” we held eight different classical music concerts at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, performing works spanning genres, composers, and eras.

In addition to the Community Concert Hall, we were thrilled to return once again to the Sunflower Theatre in Cortez for “Sun-Dappled,” a classical chamber concert featuring works by Tchaikovsky, Crespo, Beethoven, and Turner.

For the second year in a row, we returned to beautiful LePlatt’s Pond in Bayfield, this year hosting our friends The Barefoot Movement for an evening of bluegrass and Americana. 

Plus, our much-beloved chamber concert at St. Columba Church returned once again! “Rare Joy” included pieces by Corelli, Walker, Mozart, Montgomery, and J.S. Bach, all performed by members of our Festival Orchestra in the intimate, beautiful setting of St. Columba.

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From Burritos to Dementors: Unique Music, Food, and Drink Experiences

Our 2022 Festival saw the return of unique food and drink experiences paired with incredible classical music concerts.

At Bach & Burritos, concertgoers enjoyed margaritas and burritos on the Community Concert Hall’s plaza ahead of an amazing performance by our Festival Orchestra featuring works by J.S Bach, Byrd, Handel, Mozart, and Moncayo, and highlighting soloists Maestro Guillermo Figueroa on viola and Erin Schreiber on violin. Prior to the concert, attendees were also treated to a flamenco performance by Spanish Broom Flamenco from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Our annual Pops Night event had a magical twist in 2022 as the Sky Ute Events Center was taken over by butterbeer, dementors, and all things Hogwarts for the Magical Music of Harry Potter! Our Festival Orchestra, led by guest conductor Richard Kaufman, performed all the quintessential musical numbers from the films, while concertgoers enjoyed a fantastic multi-course meal and wine set in a truly magical setting.

The final weekend of our 2022 Festival was extra-sweet, courtesy of Chocolate Indulgence! Prior to the concert, guests enjoyed artisan chocolates and desserts handcrafted by Animas Chocolate Company and accompanied by specialty cocktails, beer, or wine. They were then treated to Symphonic “Bon Bons”: shorter pieces by Suppé, Brahms, Fauré, Aram Khachaturian, Dvorak, Bernstein, and Liszt performed by our Festival Orchestra.

Familiar Faces and Spectacular Special Guests

In addition to our world-class Festival Orchestra musicians and soloists, we were lucky to welcome some wonderful special guests and friends of the Festival to the stage in 2022.

Universally-recognized classical musician Vadim Gluzman joined us on July 22nd for “Serene Dream,” where he joined our Festival Orchestra as both soloist and guest conductor for performances of Mozart’s Serenata notturna (Serenade #6) in D, K.239 and Violin Concerto No. 3 in G, K. 216, as well as Vasks’s Musica Serena and Tchaikovksy’s Serenade for Strings, Op. 48.

Jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling and vocalist Sydney McSweeney joined our Festival Orchestra for “American Melodies,” a musical journey through the early songs that defined America. This incredible evening featured everything from folk songs to spirituals, gospel to jazz.

To close out our 2022 Festival, our Festival Orchestra was joined onstage by more than one special guest: the Durango Choral Society and the Caliente Community Choir. “Inspired Voices,” our 2022 Grand Finale, featured the Great Opera Choruses, and was a thrilling show to close out our 2022 Festival with!

Something for Music Lovers of All Ages

Our 2022 Festival wouldn’t have been complete without our beloved Dinner & Family Concert! This evening, designed specifically for children and their families, featured a hot dog picnic with root beer floats and games on the Concert Hall lawn, followed by a special kid-friendly concert designed to introduce young audiences to classical music. Our 2022 audience experienced Gregory Smith’s Orchestra Games, the ultimate “get to know the instruments” piece!

For our older music lovers and most loyal donors, we once again hosted special donor events at River Bend Ranch and the Glacier Club. These events are designed to thank and celebrate our donors, and each feature an evening of food, drinks, and a special performance. (Interested in becoming a Music in the Mountains donor? Learn more here!)

A Special Thank You to Gregory Hustis

Our 2022 Festival marked the retirement of longtime Artistic Director Gregory Hustis. Greg celebrated 35 years of vision and dedication to Music in the Mountains in 2022, retiring in October. 

Greg was the Festival Artistic Director and Chamber Music Director beginning in 2007, overseeing the Festival’s programming and artists. From 1988 to 2013, Greg was also the principal horn player in the Festival’s orchestra.

We are incredibly grateful to him for all he shared with the organization! Greg was named Artistic Director Emeritus, staying close to the organization that he was so instrumental in building. Moving forward, the Board of Directors has appointed Music Director & Conductor, Guillermo Figueroa, to step into the Artistic Director & Conductor role for Music in the Mountains.

It’s the music. It’s the musicians. It’s the experience.

After a successful and memorable 2022 season, we look ahead to 2023! In 2023, we will celebrate our 37th Anniversary Season, and know it will hold just as many memorable moments. Plan on joining us from July 6-30, 2023! 

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