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Sound the Horns: Colorado Brass & Percussion Playing Outdoor Concert at McGregor Square

"There's no question that the brass will translate in a beautiful way to that space, so we're very excited.”
The Colorado Symphony Brass and Percussion
The Colorado Symphony Brass and Percussion Colorado Symphony
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A collection of twenty players from the Colorado Symphony dubbed the Colorado Symphony Brass & Percussion will take to McGregor Square on Wednesday, October 4, to perform a variety of classical and modern compositions from Dvorák and Debussy to the so-called founder of the blues, W.C. Handy. The wide range of works have been adapted for the brass group, which will be led by assistant conductor Wilbur Lin, and the open-air venue was chosen to attract fans passing by. “It's a great introduction to the orchestra and what we do for somebody who hasn't experienced this in the past,” says chief artistic officer Anthony Pierce.

Pierce, who helped choose the location, points out that the McGregor Square performance is part of the Colorado Symphony’s push to bring its music to new settings. “The orchestra plays at Red Rocks during the summer; we go to the Arvada Center; we've been up into the mountains; we've been [from] the Georgia Bluegrass Festival all the way to the Dillon Amphitheater,” he says. “We manifest ourselves in many different places throughout the state, honestly. We've got a trip to Steamboat Springs coming up in a month or so. We bounce all around.”

The Colorado Symphony Brass & Percussion will perform on McGregor Square’s 17,000-square-foot outdoor plaza, surrounded by several high-rise apartments and offices, the Rally Hotel and a food court. The outdoor area is nested in the block just across 20th Street from Coors Field. The red-brick plaza serves as a patio for patrons of the dozen-plus restaurants and bars found inside the Milepost Zero Food Hall; there is also a cash bar on the plaza itself. Sound, Pierce says, is not an issue given the plaza's surrounding edifices, insulating the area against intrusions from the busy streets of LoDo.

“It's a beautiful outdoor space with all kinds of amenities for patrons,” says Pierce. “It'll be the first time we've been in the space, and we really thought the brass would translate well to that circular experience.”

The performance also marks the first time that Lin, who joined the Colorado Symphony in June, will lead the Colorado Brass and Percussion. "We’re excited for Wilbur,” Pierce says. “His energy is very positive. He's aesthetically fun to watch on the podium when he conducts.”

Lin and the Colorado Brass & Percussion players take on a heavy role when designing the program for concerts like the one at McGregor, Pierce notes. “It’s not necessarily our traditional audience,” he says, so the ensemble pulled from previous arrangements and created new ones for the open-air show.

The musicians will return to Boettcher Concert Hall to play with the symphony and Stewart Copeland on Thursday, October 5, for a performance titled "Police Deranged for Orchestra," which will also be conducted by Lin. Operatic singer Renée Fleming will perform with the symphony on Saturday, October 7.

Tickets to the Colorado Symphony Brass & Percussion concert at McGregor Square can be purchased in two tiers:  General admission grants access to the orchestra and surrounding amenities, while a VIP package also includes two complimentary drinks and light appetizers.

“It's gonna be a phenomenal evening," says Pierce. "There's no question that the brass will translate in a beautiful way to that space, so we're very excited.”

Colorado Symphony Brass & Percussion at McGregor Square, 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 3, McGregor Square, 1901 Wazee Street; tickets are $49.50 (general admission) or $93.50 (VIP).
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