CBMF’s education initiatives are an immersive experience for participants and their musical peers, coached by leading professionals, and all offer ample performance experience.

Two new programs saw their inaugural year in 2017, the Orchestral Fellows program and the Adult Chamber Music Intensive.

Orchestral Fellows

Modeled after the Opera Studio and open by audition, the Orchestral Fellows was comprised of the highest level conservatory students from all orchestral disciplines. They were highlighted in, among others, BEERoque (with renowned flutist Eugenia Zukerman), the Festival Opera double bill of Offenbach's Island of Tulipatan + Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, and the symphony performance entitled “Mothers of Identity” during their three week residency.

Crested Butte Chamber Music Intensive

CBMF is proud to offer the only adult chamber music program in Colorado. Catered to serious, amateur musicians, participants were combined to form multiple chamber groups and were coached by professional musicians for a week-long musical and rejuvenating experience.

Works performed included string trios by Beethoven, Schubert and Dohnányl; a Mendelssohn piano trio; a Prokofiev string quartet, and Ravel’s delightful Ma mère l’Oye for four hands.

Kids Go Free

Our doors are open at every mainstage event for listeners aged 7 to 17 to enjoy music performances. Of approximately 50 concerts offered in this summer’s season, nearly 70% offered free tickets for kids.

CBMF Bluegrass Kids Camp

Now in its 7th summer, over 30 young musicians aged 7 to 14 participated in this camp with instructors from the renowned Denver-based Swallow Hill Music School. From playing in bluegrass ensembles to individual lessons, young musicians learned about this traditional American genre in a variety of ways, and even learned to express their musical ideas through songwriting.

“It was a wonderful experience all week long. I think getting to be with other kids who play music - both beginning and advanced levels -- boosted our son's confidence tremendously. The end of week performance in the magical Mirror Palace was icing on the cake! Thank you for providing this one-of-a-kind camp in a beautiful place.”

-Survey response

Crested Butte Opera Studio

This year’s 12 participants won spots from over 550 applicants and received training from renowned artists and creative professionals. Leading roles in the Festival opera and other performance opportunities translate into preparedness for a professional operatic career, new opportunities, and newfound musical and personal confidence.

Participants are also considered for the Excellence Award, selected by the Opera Faculty each summer and awarded to an artist with promising talent; a work and study ethic that maximizes the artist’s own learning; a team ethic approach in contributing to an opera performance; and the understanding that an opera career is a lifelong education.

Clara Niemen (left) & John Marzano (right) in Offenbach's Isle of Tulipatan

This year’s winner was tenor John Marzano, whom you may remember in his hilarious and outstanding performance as Hermosa in the Island of Tulipatan, and as Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi.

Opera Children's Chorus

This year’s program had participants aged 10 to 17. The singers studied solfege, musical fundamentals, and diction in their daily schedules, and were able to focus on their musical development for three weeks. The cumulative performance was a collaborative work between the coaches and singers, and featured pieces ranging from Mozart and Delibes to today’s popular Broadway shows like Hamilton and Wicked.

“My heart is so full.”

-Survey response

Frank Vignola Hot Club Dream Camp

Musicians of all levels and ages converged on Crested Butte for a week of gypsy jazz jamming in combos of guitar, fiddle, and bass. Participants encompass nearly every age and background: from talented, passionate teenagers to accomplished teachers and performing musicians, this is one of the most popular programs CBMF offers.


Emily Ondracek-Peterson and Erik Peterson

Under the inspired leadership of new Co-Artistic Directors, Emily Ondracek-Peterson and Erik Peterson, this summer saw an infusion of fresh ideas and initiatives into the Festival. New artists, new ideas, new events, and performances permeated the 21st season: from Mariachi to a Masked Rave, a New Orleans-style celebration in August and more, IDENTITY UNMASKED revealed a truly diverse range of musical performances.

Masked Rave with DJ Johnny Dynell

AfterDark Series

AfterDark was a new series of post-concert performances on select evenings at the Mirror Palace, featuring musicians in a relaxed, intimate setting.

Sound Hearth Series

Home Soiree rebrand for 2017 season
Gatsby Lawn Games (gypsy jazz)
Happy 80th!

Sweet Sounds: Kara + Peter Dugan

Mariachi On The Rocks with Mariachi Sol De Mi Tierra

Voxare Meets The Man with the Movie Camera

Instrument Petting Zoo

“I also want to say a huge THANK YOU for the instrument petting zoo for kids... my kid had a wonderful experience and we are very grateful that you did that.”

-Survey response

Time For Three

“Time for Three was one of the best concerts I have ever attended! Amazing musicians!”

-Survey response

“I thought the venue and the group Time For Three were amazing.”

-Survey response

Gala: Paris 19XX

Davis Contemporary Dance Company

“I thought the Davis Dance company was AMAZING. Their technical skills along with their ability to tell an engrossing story through dance were extremely awesome. Thank you for introducing me to a dance company I will look forward to seeing again, here or in Denver!”

-Survey response


The Crested Butte Music Festival is grateful to each and every donor of all types who provided essential support for our wide-ranging artistic and educational programs through gifts; in-kind donations of time, products or services; housing artists, and more. We acknowledge all of the individuals, foundations, businesses, and government agencies for their support of the Festival’s mission.

Photos by Xavier Fane.

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