News & Reviews

REVIEW: Awe-inspiring Third Symphony Crowns most Ambitious MahlerFest
By Kelly Dean Hansen, freelance classical music writer
For the journal of the Gustav Mahler Society of New York

A Message in Support of our Community – March 2021  Dr. Vicki Burrichter, On behalf of the Boulder Chorale Staff and Board

Boulder Chorale postpones concerts until 2021: Conductor Vicki Burrichter has advice for everyone stuck at home By Peter Alexander June 9, 2020

Burrichter and Boulder Chorale explore rhythms around the world: Music from Native America, across Latin America, and India, Nov. 3 and 4 – By Peter Alexander,, October 30, 2019

“Boulder Chorale presents its take on ‘Mission Road’ to Longmont Museum” – By Paul Albani-Burgio, Longmont Times-Call, March 29, 2019

“Boulder Chorale Brings Mardi Gras Music from New Orleans” – By Peter Alexander,, March 7, 2019

“Boulder Chorale, Guerrilla Fanfare busting genres with Mardi Gras concert” – By Kalene McCourt, Daily Camera, March 7, 2019

“Everything Classical for the Holidays” – By Peter Alexander, Boulder Weekly, December 6, 2018

Handel’s ‘Messiah,’ tailored for the Christmas season: Pro Musica Colorado and Boulder Chamber Chorale combine for performances – By Peter Alexander, Boulder Weekly, November 29, 2018

“Boulder Chorale spices up its repertoire with weekend production, ¡Viva Cuba!” – By Kalene McCourt, Daily Camera, October 26, 2018

“Boulder Chorale Presents the Music of Cuba” – By Peter Alexander,, October 25, 2018

“Elliot Moore Finds the Longmont Symphony ‘Fun to Drive’ Going Into a New Season” – By Peter Alexander,, October 1, 2018

“Jazz Sextet, tap dancer, vocalist and choir? It must be Ellington!” – by Peter Alexander, Boulder Weekly, May 17, 2018

“Boulder Chamber Orchestra Returns to Mozart’s Requiem with Boulder Chorale” – by Peter Alexander, Boulder Weekly, March 29, 2018

“Boulder Chorale Seeks the Space ‘Between Heaven and Earth’ “ – by Peter Alexander,, March 8, 2018

“Boulder Chorale ‘Open to Anything’ in Season that Starts with Brazilian Music” – by Kelly Dean Hansen, Daily Camera, October 27, 2017

“From ‘Bachtoberfest’ to Carnival in Brazil, Boulder’s Musicians Plan Celebrations” – by Peter Alexander,, September 8, 2017

“Beethoven Ninth a Culmination for Boulder Chamber Orchestra” – by Kelly Dean Hansen, Daily Camera, April 27, 2017

“Best of Boulder 2017 – Entertainment and Culture” – Boulder Chorale Wins Staff Pick, Boulder Weekly, April 27, 2017

“Bluegrass Band Sits In With Choir for Boulder Concerts” – by A.H. Goldstein, Daily Camera, March 16, 2017

“Adventures in Geography and Gender” – by Peter Alexander, Boulder Weekly, October 20, 2016

“Boulder Chorale Opens Season With Nod to Women” – by Kelly Dean Hansen, Daily Camera, October 17, 2016

“Boulder Chamber Orchestra Concerts Stand in Shadow of Beethoven’s Ninth” – by Kelly Dean Hansen, Daily Camera, September 9, 2016

“Want a Happier, Smarter Kid? Try Music Lessons” – by Sarah Huber, Daily Camera Back to School Insert, August 2016

“Boulder Chorale Brings Brubeck Mass to Colorado” – by Peter Alexander,, May 10, 2016

“Boulder Philharmonic’s ‘St Matthew’ More Than the Sum of Its Parts” – By Kelly Dean Hansen, Daily Camera, April 17, 2016

“Piece Commissioned From Student for Boulder Chorale for 50th Anniversary” – CU News, appeared online on March 7, 2016

“Boulder Colorado Seeks to Diversify in 50th Season” – By Kelly Dean Hansen, Daily Camera, November 29, 2015

Review of the Boulder Chorale’s collaboration with the Boulder Philharmonic on November 14, 2015
“Making Music at a Time of Tragedy” – By Peter Alexander,, November 14, 2015

Preview of the Boulder Chorale’s collaboration with the Boulder Philharmonic on November 14, 2015
“Boulder Philharmonic will Premiere Charles Denler Piece” – By Kelly Dean Hansen, Daily Camera, November 8, 2015

Boulder Daily Camera, Sunday, July 26, 2015

By Judy Finman

Ask the experts about the value of music education for children, and they are unanimous: Music study has lifelong benefits. It is good for the brain and the body, for developing skills like cooperation and self-discipline, and for pleasure, satisfaction, and self-confidence.

Plus, to quote Dana Flitcraft, owner of HB Woodsongs music store in Boulder, “Music makes you happy.”

Flitcraft says, “There are many opportunities in Boulder to be involved in music lessons and groups. The public school teachers do an amazing job of recruiting and retaining students for the band and orchestra program, and some schools also offer guitar classes. Additionally, there are many private studios and academies in the area that offer group and individual lessons and camps for all instruments and styles such as bluegrass, rock or classical. Many of those are listed on our website, www. Woodsongs offers guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass, ukulele, dulcimer, violin, and cello lessons by professional teachers at the store.”

Flitcraft advises that if a child shows an interest in a particular instrument, the parent and child can consult with a few music teachers to find a good fit. If the child does not favor a particular instrument, they may try out various instruments to find one they might like and be physically able to play. The public school teachers can help. Many music academies have open house events or booths at city festivals. Woodsongs can help.

Renting an instrument allows the child to try it out without the parent making a large initial investment. Woodsongs allows students to exchange instruments if one does not work out. The parent can rent an instrument until the rent collected equals the purchase price, or return the instrument at any time after the first two months. They have new and used instruments; the latter rent for less money.

Families on tight budgets can check with the public school teachers at the beginning of the year. The schools have a limited number of instruments to rent inexpensively. Some music academies lend instruments as well.

Boulder Piano Studio offers private and group lessons for adults and children. “Our classes focus on helping our students not only learn to enjoy playing well, but learn the language of music, how to create music, improvise and compose,” says Director Susan Rudosky. “They also develop a keen ear for music; being able to recognize the structure of pieces and hear a piece in their head just by reading the music. They learn to sight read, develop good technique and build a repertoire of music they can play and enjoy. Our group and private piano lessons for all ages inspire learners with the magic of music and the fulfillment of performance.”

She says that the “piano is an ideal instrument for learning music. Visually, it is easier to understand how music “works” on the piano. The piano keyboard shows how melodies move in steps/ skips/ going higher or lower. The keyboard has the largest melodic range of instruments. The keyboard makes it easier to understand harmony – seeing how chords are built and relate to the melodies.”

Kids can learn music through orchestra and band at school and choral groups in school or at church. Music scholarships are available through some organizations.

“Studies have stressed how music can improve test scores, increase brain activity, improve our spatial reasoning. Music making goes further, providing a sense of fun, joy in creating/ producing something that the individual can share with others. How rewarding! Who doesn’t love music? It connects us all.”

Boulder Suzuki Strings
teaches violin, viola, and cello, founder Amy Gesmer-Packman explains. Instruction begins with the young student learning to play an instrument, generally before entering elementary school, “though we start many children of elementary school age and teach these students until they graduate high school and go to college. Once lessons begin in BSS the parent will attend with the child, to take notes during the lesson and become the home teacher following the instructions of the teacher. As the child gets older and more advanced, the role of the parent changes; the student takes over the full responsibility of practice. The students attend group lessons approximately twice a month. Traditional lessons are also available, where the student attends the lesson alone, practices, and no group is involved. “The sociological value of music cannot be overstated,” Gesmer-Packman says. “When students are performing they are learning about themselves as they bring music to others I encourage my students to play in their school orchestra and participate any way they can.” For kids whose families are on a tight budget, Gesmer-Packman says, “We are a 501(c3). We fundraise and then offer scholarships.”

Ethan Hecht, Executive Director of the Boulder Chorale, has a lot of experience managing performing arts organizations in the Boulder area. He is also Principal Viola of the Fort Collins Symphony.

“There are many local music stores that rent instruments,” he notes. “For families who can’t afford a full fee there are options for reduced cost rentals including the non-profit organizations like the Colorado Music Festival and Center for Musical Arts, And many schools are working to make those opportunities available. There are also many ways for families to receive free tickets to concerts. Sometimes a concert is the spark necessary to turn a student on to an interest in music.

“There are countless studies about how music study helps everything from math and reading skills to problem solving. Sometimes I think we lose sight of the importance of art and beauty for their own sake. Learning to make and appreciate something beautiful in this world is an important thing to learn regardless of the other tangible benefits.

“Music surrounds us. It’s in our stores, our cars, TV, movies and restaurants. It is an essential part of our culture even for those who don’t make it a priority. Children should be offered the opportunity to learn about something that plays such an important and allpervasive role in our society.”

Kate Klotz, Artistic Director of the Boulder Children’s Chorale, notes, “We have three choirs for singers in grades 1-8. Children do not need any prior experience to participate. We provide weekly instruction in singing and music theory, and prepare our singers for three concerts each season, in addition to fun outreach events throughout the year.” To schedule an audition, contact her at

For kids whose families are on a tight budget, she says, “Many of the arts organizations in Boulder offer scholarships and financial assistance to families in need, allowing children to participate in private lessons, group instructions or other musical activities. In addition, we are fortunate to have tremendous support for music and the arts and outstanding teachers in our public school system. Many schools offer extra-curricular music activities that children can participate in at little or no cost to families.”

Boulder Children’s Chorale (Photo courtesy of Boulder Chorale)

Boulder Philharmonic promises ‘eclectic’ 2015-16 season
By Kelly Dean Hansen,Camera Classical Music Writer
Posted: 03/26/2015

The 2015-16 Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra season is immediately notable for an unusually rich slate of collaborative efforts with other local arts organizations.

These include the Boulder Chorale, the Boulder Ballet and, in an unprecedented joint effort, a semi-staged version of Bach’s towering “St. Matthew Passion” with the Boulder Bach Festival, Central City Opera and University of Colorado Choruses.

. . . . On Nov. 14, Denver-based composer and pianist Charles Denler joins the orchestra in the world premiere of his “Portraits in Season” inspired by Thoreau. Denler plays the piano part in the piece. The performance will be accompanied by projections of photography by John Fiedler.

“With new pieces, I find it always helps for there to be something to look at,” Butterman said, “and John’s work kept coming up in connection with this.”

Fiedler, whose work also will appear in a Colorado Music Festival summer concert, has created a more intimate selection of images than his usual landscapes, matching Thoreau’s aesthetic.

Denler’s composition is sandwiched between two works by Johannes Brahms.

The first, the brief and masterful “Schicksalslied” (“Song of Destiny”) for chorus and orchestra, is sung by the Boulder Chorale, which frequently has collaborated with the orchestra in the past and celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015-16. Butterman closes the program with the composer’s Second Symphony, which often is described as a “pastoral” symphony inspired by nature.

Click to read the entire article.

Boulder Children’s Chorale helps kids ‘find their passion’
By Kelly Dean Hansen,Camera Classical Music Writer
Posted:   03/07/2015

Artistic director Kate Klotz, left, conducts the Boulder Children’s Chorale (Photo by Anthony Rizzo)

As an elementary music teacher in the Boulder Valley School District, Kate Klotz has a firsthand view of the benefits — and limitations — of music education in public schools.

Now in her first season as artistic director of the Boulder Children’s Chorale, Klotz is using that perspective to direct youngsters who want to make music a more central part of their lives.

“Our main goal is to help children find their passion,” Klotz told the Camera. “The children who come to us have felt the pull and draw toward music and want to pursue it in a different way. It really goes beyond what we can teach in the public schools and is meant to supplement that, not to replace it.”

The BCC, part of the Boulder Chorale organization, presents its own concert, dedicated to “Songs of Meaning,” on Saturday afternoon at Atonement Lutheran Church.

Klotz said that the affiliation with the Boulder Chorale and other local music organizations gives youngsters ideas about the possibilities of life as a musician. Not only do the children perform extensively on the Chorale’s extremely popular holiday concert, but select members also have sung in the annual production of “The “Nutcracker” by the Boulder Ballet and Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, specifically in a part integral to Tchaikovsky’s Act I conclusion.

“We want kids to see that the work they are doing now will elevate them to new levels of musicianship,” Klotz said. “It’s an exposure and perspective of what the musical world is really like. We are thankful for those opportunities and for the support we have from the Boulder Chorale.”

Klotz explained some things the organization can do that public schools cannot, which include extensive one-on-one instruction.

“We really focus on music theory and note reading,” she said, “and our three groups provide a framework for developing musicianship.”

The Preparatory Choir I is open to anyone and offers initial experience in singing and score reading. Kids who qualify for or move up to Preparatory Choir II learn more about vocal training, sight reading, harmony and the history of music and composers.

The top-level Bel Canto group focuses on singing “fun, exciting repertoire that they won’t see in their school choirs,” Klotz said.

The BCC is open to children in Grades 1-8.

“Our goal is to produce sound singers with knowledge of theory and an ability to sing harmony,” Klotz said.

Click to read the entire article.