November 5, 2021 | LIFE | By Kristen Richards | Illustration by Sierra Romero
A few weekends ago, I went to Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver to see the Colorado Symphony. They played a dynamic performance of Beethoven and Coldplay.
These two musical icons were intertwined together to create a powerful piece showcasing Beethoven’s third symphony, “the Eroica” and Coldplay’s “Yellow,” “Paradise,” “Viva la Vida” and more.
The conductor, Steve Hackman, explained to the audience how he combined Coldplay and Beethoven using their musical similarities.
It was so intriguing to learn about how two kinds of music so outwardly different could actually overlap in ways of meter, key, or tone. The way that Hackman introduced this concept helped me understand and appreciate the musical craft.
I fully expected the Colorado Symphony to be entirely instrumental, so I was startled to see three vocalists come onto the stage. In order to integrate lyrics into the performance, the vocalists sang different parts of “Yellow,” “Fix You,” and “Paradise.”
That night, I left the Boettcher Theatre in awe. I found myself wishing that other people could experience some aspect of that awe as well.
At first glance, the concept of the symphony is historically and stereotypically elite. There are limited opportunities for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, to regularly enjoy music at a concert hall as beautiful as Boettcher Hall.
When looking for tickets for Beethoven V. Coldplay, I discovered that tickets are only ten dollars with a student ID. Not every seat can be purchased with this discount, but pretty much every seat beyond the very front row is discounted for students.
I think that the idea of student discounts comes from the desire to give students the opportunity to try and explore new things they normally would not do. There are plenty of opportunities to appreciate music on campus each weekend, but sometimes it is refreshing to have just a little distance from Colorado Springs.
Exploring Denver through the Colorado Symphony is a way of exploring the world and learning something new, outside of the bubble of Colorado College. CC is a beautiful bubble, but it is important to spend time in different communities outside of campus regardless.
This year, the Colorado Symphony has in-person performances that require everyone in attendance to wear a mask, even those who are fully vaccinated. Boettcher Theatre, where the Colorado Symphony performs, is located in downtown Denver, only a few blocks away from 16th street.
There will be a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 this coming weekend, Nov. 6 and 7, by conductor Valentina Peleggi and violinist Paul Huang. Almost as iconic as Beethoven’s 9th, Symphony No. 7 is definitely not one to miss, and a great introduction into the world of classical music for people who may be hesitant to listen to a music genre often dismissed as “boring.”
Even though Halloween has barely passed, the Colorado Symphony has already planned an event called “A Colorado Christmas.” Taking place from Dec. 10 to Dec.12, the Colorado Symphony will perform a variety of Christmas and holiday songs at the Boettcher Theatre.
There are so many more events on the Colorado Symphony website; there is almost a different performance every weekend, with a mix of classical and more modern or well-known music. But what comes from all performances is the joy of the common unfamiliarity of classical music.
Maybe exploring the Colorado Symphony means checking out their website for five minutes. Maybe it means listening to the first 30 seconds of Beethoven’s “the Eroica”. Or maybe it means simply thinking about the opportunities that Colorado Springs and Denver provide for students. Hopefully, the exploring leads to learning, and the learning leads to loving.