Symphony in the Valley

A nonprofit organization

$3,610 raised by 20 donors

14% complete

$25,000 Goal

Symphony in the Valley was established in 1994. Your support will enable us to continue to provide orchestral music and musical inspiration to the Roaring Fork community, symphony members and aspiring young musicians.


How does Symphony in the Valley impact the people in our community? Here are some stories we heard from our supporters after our recent Beethoven live performance:
"After watching the Beethoven flute trio, I went home and ordered myself a new flute online. I hadn't played the flute in over 15 years!"
"I signed up for piano lessons after watching Amanda Gessler play the piano so beautifully."
"It's so refreshing to hear live music again! We really needed that!"

A lovely thank you note in the Post Independent from a community member, following our Beethoven concert. SITV is honored to inspire and bring live music to our valley:
How great it was to attend a live musical performance last weekend in New Castle! The music of the talented members of the Symphony in the Valley was superb as always. Thanks to conductor Kelly Thompson for bringing wonderful music back to life and to Karin White, organizer of the orchestra years ago. You are appreciated!
-Joan Troth, Glenwood springs


Mission Statement: Enriching our community through live musical performance.

Core Purpose: We provide performance opportunities for local musicians.

Core Values: Inspiration, Inclusion & Collaboration: We welcome all ages to play together and grow as musicians.

Background Statement

In June 1990, Karin White of Glenwood Springs, Colo., and Chick Overington of Southhampton, Penn., met at the National Senior Symphony, performing that year at Mystic, Conn. Mr. Overington was planning to semi-retire and move to the West, and Ms. White suggested he consider the Roaring Fork Valley in western Colorado. She told him it was a nice place to live, work, ski and perform with other musicians.

When Mr. Overington moved to Carbondale in the fall of 1991, he asked Ms. White why there was no community orchestra. Together, they decided it was time to establish an orchestra. Ms. White knew many local musicians, and Mr. Overington had served as a board member and violin player in the Warminster Symphony in Pennsylvania. Their collaboration resulted in the birth of Symphony in the Valley in 1993.

They founded the orchestra with three purposes in mind:

• To provide a performance group for local musicians

• To offer live classical music to local audiences

• To foster and encourage the study of music by young people

Mr. Overington and Ms. White recruited Jon Madsen and Randy Fox as the co-conductors, and placed announcements in community newspapers in the summer of 1993 seeking players. The first concert was performed on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 1993, to a packed house in the Glenwood Springs High School Auditorium. The fledgling orchestra had 42 members and performed works by Grieg, Haydn, Corelli and Leroy Anderson.

Wendy Larson, a cellist, became the orchestra's co-conductor in 1994 after Mr. Fox moved away. Mr. Madsen left the orchestra in 1997 after he was diagnosed with cancer, and passed away in 1998. Losing Madsen and his generous spirit was painful and sad for the orchestra. As a tribute, the orchestra established the Jon Madsen Memorial Scholarship.

Ms. Larson led the orchestra for 11 seasons. Her creative thinking resulted in many memorable concerts. "Hits of the 20th Century" and "100 Years of Broadway" reprised the turn of the new century. Children's concerts featured Tubby the Tuba, Carnival of the Animals and Peter and the Wolf. "Familiar Classics" offered snippets of well-known classical themes, with costumed conductors. And the Symphony Swing dinner dances and concerts revived live big band music.

Collaborations with Wendy's wide circle of friends in music put a sparkle in many performances. She teamed up with Aspen hardrock miner Jay Parker, who supplied the cannon fire for the 1812 Overture, performed outdoors in 2005. It was a one-of-a-kind musical blast. In October 2006 the orchestra played the annual John Denver Tribute concert at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen with Denver's former band. In May 2007, the orchestra and guest singers performed excerpts from the opera Carmina Burana.

In 2008, Ms. Larson stepped down from the position and the orchestra hired Carlos Elias, director of the strings and orchestra program at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colo., and concertmaster of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Elias led the orchestra for five seasons. He left the position in the summer of 2013 to take a new job with the music faculty at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio.

In the fall of 2013, Symphony in the Valley hired Kelly Thompson to be the new Music Director. Kelly joined the Symphony for the 2001-2002 season and has performed myriad duties with the organization over the years including playing trumpet and percussion, singing, helping with the behind-the-scenes direction as President of the Symphony Board, and leading the group as a frequent guest conductor. He has been the Music Director for the annual Symphony Swing event since 2011.

Organization Data


Organization name

Symphony in the Valley

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Arts, Culture & Humanities

Organization Size

Small Organization


PO Box 1831
Glenwood Springs, CO 81602

Service areas

Garfield County, CO, US



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