Hikers at Chautauqua Park treated to 'Tiny Rock Concerts'

By LIBBY SMITH

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    BOULDER, Colorado (KCNC) -- The Colorado Music Festival calendar includes 22 full length concerts at the Chautauqua Auditorium, but in addition to that calendar there are some added concerts, Tiny Rock Concerts. They're based on National Public Radio's Tiny Desk Concerts, but with a Colorado twist.

Tiny Rock Concerts happen Wednesday mornings at the Chautauqua trailhead. They're "tiny" because they only last 5 to 10 minutes. The "rock" refers to the breathtaking flatirons as the setting.

"What we have are literally world class musicians who are coming out to the Chautauqua trailhead," said Elizabeth McGuire, Executive Director of the Colorado Music Festival and Center for Musical Arts.

Cellists Susie Yang and Aaron Merritt play with the Colorado Music Festival orchestra. This is Merritt's 12th year with the Festival. He lives in Miami the rest of the year. Yang plays with the Kansas City orchestra, and came to Boulder as a guest principal at the Festival.

"How often have you ever played a trailhead before?" CBS4 asked Yang.

"Oh… never," she replied with a laugh.

Merritt and Yang are old friends and volunteered to play together for the Tiny Rock Concert on Wednesday, July 6th.

"We're playing Kummer's duet in C-major," Merritt explained.

Morning hikers become the unwitting audience.

"I hope it just brings them a little bit of joy in the morning," Yang said.

The Colorado Music Festival started the Tiny Rock Concerts in 2019, and then had to take a break through the pandemic. Organizers thought there was something whimsical and fun about adding impromptu, unexpected music to a hike at one of the must beautiful places in Colorado. The mix of amazing music and spectacular scenery is bound to get the day off to a good start.

The Tiny Rock Concerts are Wednesday's at 8:30 a.m. through August 10, 2022. They are free and open to anyone who wants to listen. The Colorado Music Festival has a full slate of concerts that include the classics like Beethoven and Mozart, but also there is the Week of Today, which features new composers.

"As much as we love all of the classics, the Beethoven and the Mahler, and of course, we do, we also want to focus on living composers and bringing the voices of people …a diverse group of people into the genre of classics," McGuire told CBS4.

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