Pikes Peak Philharmonic orchestra to perform, coach at Coronado this year

       Starting Sunday, Oct. 4, Coronado High School will be the site of four performances this school year by the Pikes Peak Philharmonic. In addition, through the non- profit community orchestra's partnership with District 11, extra credits are available for music students and teachers, according to Tom Fleecs, D-11 fine arts coordinator.
       The Oct. 4 performance (titled “The Party Begins”) will begin at 3 p.m. in the CHS auditorium next to the parking lot for the school at 1590 W. Fillmore St. Performed will be music by Grieg, Chaminade and Dvorak. Tickets will be available at the door ($9 adults, $6 children, $6 seniors and $18 for a family).
       Other shows at CHS by the 70-piece orchestra will be Dec. 6 (“The Entertainment - Big and Small Screen”), Feb. 21 (The Invited Guest”) and April 25 (“A Final Treat”).
       During the school year, there will be opportunities for the organization's musicians to work with students and teachers, and for Coronado students to audition into the orchestra, Fleecs said. Students will also have the option of just “sitting in a section [of the orchestra] to feel what it's like,” he said.
       Honors credits will be available to students and recertification credits to educators to reward program involvement, according to the partnership contract.
       The Philharmonic receives no money from the school district, but its orchestra will get use of the Coronado auditorium for concerts and rehearsals, including the school's percussion/piano instruments and music stands - making for a “win-win” situation, Fleecs enthused.
       The district has similar partnerships with other area performing-arts entities, including the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association, the Children's Chorale, the Fine Arts Center, the Opera Theater of the Rockies and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Fleecs said.
       Last year, the Pikes Peak Philharmonic had worked with D-11 chiefly at Wasson High School, which has a larger auditorium than Coronado's. The organization, whose musicians are unpaid, decided to “try a little more intimate venue,” explained Fleecs, who is one of its cello players. Another reason the Philharmonic's was interested in Coronado, he added, is the Westside itself, which “is a side of town that values the arts.”
       It is not known if the Pikes Peak Philharmonic will continue at Coronado after this year. All such partnerships are reviewed by D-11 yearly to see how they're working out, Fleecs said.
       According to its website, “the orchestra now known as the Pikes Peak Philharmonic was formed in 1965 to provide additional playing opportunities for students at Colorado College. The Colorado Springs Community Orchestra, as it was first called, was quickly expanded to include musicians from the rest of the community.”
       Current conductor David Rutherford, who specializes in the bass, has a master's in music education from the University of Northern Colorado, has taught public school orchestra programs and is a morning radio voice on classical station KVOD in Denver.

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