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The Colorado College Summer (Conservatory and) Music Festival: 1984-2019

We’re celebrating 35 years of miraculous music making this summer - an ideal time to look back at how this all got started and has evolved since our first sounds in 1984. There will be special presentations, lobby exhibits and social media postings, On this page, you will find links the festival’s history, excerpts from interviews with festival artists, fellows and supporters and blogs and reviews from this summer’s festival. All are written or compiled by longtime Colorado Springs journalist and arts advocate David Sckolnik.

Please link to this page for ongoing postings and updates.


First, David takes a look back at the last 35 years.

In the Beginning....

The Festival at 35....

Scholarships for Fellows...

The Crisis of 2008-2009...

Next, he takes us through the day to day of the festival with the following blog posts and photos. Check back often for more!

SMF35 Blog - Day One

SMF35 Blog - Day Two

SMF35 Blog - the Festival at 35, live!  

Hear about our concerto competition and how you can see the winners perform.

Tanavi Prabhu, oboe, and Danielle Greene, violin, will perform at the Festival Orchestra Children's Concert on Thursday, June 13:

Tanavidanielle greene

Julia Mirzoev, violin, Bum Namkoong, clarinet, and Russell Iceberg, violin, will perform with the orchestra at our Concerto Readings. This free and open to the public event is on Saturday, June 15 at 2pm in the Celeste Theatre.

Julia MirzoevBum Namkoongrussell iceberg smaller

Did you catch the review of our first concert in the Gazette?

Artists kick off CC Summer Music Festival’s 35th year with style and passion



From 1997-2003 KCME-FM aired the arts interview/review program "ArtsPeak for Southern Colorado" every week. Host and creator David Sckolnik reviewed a panorama of public arts offerings and the program was always certain to include reviews of the Summer Music Festival's Festival Artists Concerts. 

Here are five of them as they sounded when first aired.

ArtsPeak Review - June 27, 1997

ArtsPeak Review - June 26, 1999

ArtsPeak Review - June 24, 2000

ArtsPeak Review - June 23, 2001

ArtsPeak Review - June 22. 2002



Festival founders, faculty and supporters tell our tale in the clips below.

For best viewing, click the "play" arrow, and then the two opposite facing arrows in the top left corner, in order to make the video full screen.

Michael Grace begins at the beginning....

Current music director Susan Grace took over in 1987....

Bill Hochman was Summer Session Dean at the time.....

Festival supporters Libby Rittenberg and Nasit Ari have been big fans for decades.....

Nasit tells us more.....

Bill Wolfram talks conductors.....

Ginny Barron is both associate director and viola faculty...

Bassoon faculty Michael Kroth talks about the festival's adventurous programming....

Festival conductor and violin faculty Scott Yoo talks about the culture of learning at the festival.....

Scott talks about the fellows' experience in the orchestra....