National Repertory Orchestra

A nonprofit organization

$26,770 raised by 76 donors

89% complete

$30,000 Goal


Over 70% of the NRO's budget comes from fundraising efforts that directly support our merit-based, tuition-free summer festival, free education community programs and world-class concerts at affordable ticket prices.


Staff, Alums, and Musicians Say It Best!

“In the percussion world, the NRO is one of the most well-known festivals for offering rigorous professional experiences. Going through the program for the first time this summer, I can certainly testify to it. There is a shared sense of responsibility among fellows to make the best music possible, and my NRO experience has been a wake-up call about how to be a successful professional. The approach I acquired at the NRO to rehearsals and performances of any magnitude—always stay ahead, and don’t let anything slide—is something I will neverforget in my future career. The NRO has opened up a lot of doors for me, and my experience this summer will help me get where I want to be in the future.”

 - Edric Salazar, percussion / NRO 2023

"Coming to the NRO for the first time this summer, I had an invaluable, life-changing experience that helped me further visualize my career in arts administration. My position was uniquely situated to act as a bridge between the organization and the community, allowing me to witness the impact of our music-making first-hand and learn stories of people from all walks of life—it was so fulfilling to see the audience smiling from ear to ear and kids dancing to the music. There is truly no place like the NRO: Fellows and the entire organization believe in the power of music to bring people together, and their passion for creating positive changes through music is simply infectious.”

 Megan Martin, Community Engagement Fellow and Manager / NRO 2023

"My summer at the NRO was my first summer spent in the States as an international student, and it has been an unforgettable and truly enriching one. I am thankful for the rigorous but fulfilling learning experience which has helped me to craft my career decisions, and I only wished that I had applied to the NRO years ago" 

- Natalie Koh, violin / NRO 2022 and 2023 co-principal violin II

"The NRO was crucial to my musical career because it established strong friendships within the arts community. The world of the orchestral musician is small and the connections you make are important. With so many talented students at the NRO, I was bound to meet future leaders of our art. Also, the fast-paced nature of the festival's programming allowed me to get a sense of a professional orchestra's schedule. The amount of repertoire covered and the level at which the orchestra performed made for a challenging and enriching experience for me." 

- Miles Maner, bassoon / NRO Alumnus and Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Photo by Todd Rosenberg

“My experience at NRO has prepared me very well not only because of the musical and artistic opportunities it provides, but because NRO is unyielding with it’s vigorous and demanding schedule, I have been extremely well prepared for my new position.”

Katherine Williamson, violin / NRO Alumna and Assistant Concertmaster, Sturgis Music Academy Director Arkansas Symphony Orchestra - Photo by Katherine Hicks 

"NRO was critical to my unique successes in the symphonic world. Carl taught us to appreciate how difficult parts fit, how the most challenging repertoire is barely playable, how auditions are very different from performances, and how a symphony can be much more than an elitist sport… more relevant than yacht-racing. How we can create a tangible sense of humanity in our audiences with a mastery of the standards. And let’s never forget that NRO began life as the 'Blue Jeans Symphony.' Along with CutTime®, NRO is also making classical music matter WITH the wider community."

Rick Robinson, bass/ NRO Alumnus, bassist-composer-arranger, former-bassist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Founder of CutTime Productions - Photo by Andonian

"My musical career has been moving forward significantly since my time with the NRO. The music festival not only brought my playing to a higher level, but also fulfilled my dream of playing a solo performance when I won the concerto competition. This prepared me to win an international competition and perform as a soloist with a major American orchestra a year later. I received a lot from the NRO, and it made a big impact in my life." 

- Lin Ma, clarinet / NRO Alumnus and principal clarinet, National Symphony Orchestra - Photo by Scott Suchman

"My two years with the NRO were maybe the most eye-opening musical experiences I ever had. Playing with that level of committed, amazing musicians was a life-changing experience."

- Richard Deane, horn / NRO Alumnus and principal horn, New York Philharmonic - Photo by Andrew Kist


The National Repertory Orchestra is a preeminent intensive summer music festival developing diverse, thoughtful and socially conscious musicians through experiential learning. We inspire young musicians to be great leaders in their communities while Changing Lives Through Music!

Background Statement

For 63 years, the National Repertory Orchestra has played an important role in preparing young musicians for careers in the orchestral world, while delivering outstanding musical performances for residents and visitors in Summit County, Colorado.

Founded in 1960 by Walter Charles as the Blue Jeans Symphony in Estes Park, Colorado, the orchestra moved to Evergreen, Colorado in 1966 and changed its name to the Colorado Philharmonic. In 1986, the orchestra relocated to Keystone, Colorado with Music Director Carl Topilow and changed its name to the National Repertory Orchestra to reflect the national make-up of its musicians. In 1993, the Town of Breckenridge, Colorado invited the orchestra to perform in the new Riverwalk Center.

The NRO Summer Music Festival has achieved unparalleled success and is at the forefront of the nation's summer music festivals. Today NRO alumni can be found in every major orchestra in the country.

Organization Data


Organization name

National Repertory Orchestra

other names

NRO, Blue Jeans Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Philharmonic

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Education, Arts, Culture & Humanities

Organization Size

Large Organization


PO Box 6336 111 S. Main Street #C7
Breckenridge, CO 80424

Service areas

Summit County, CO, US

Breckenridge, CO, US, 80424

Dillon, CO, US

Frisco, CO, US

Silverthorne, CO, US



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