Conceived in December of 2011, Women of Note has made a lasting impact on the Colorado Symphony by helping to fund the salary of one distinguished female musician each season. Women of Note members enjoy four exclusive luncheons and recitals at locations across Denver, while relishing the fellowship and community created by fellow music lovers.
Over the years, these musical luncheons have been held in businesses and member homes alike. At the most recent gathering on February 5, the Women of Note members brought invited guests and were seated on stage with Colorado Symphony Concertmaster Yumi Huang-Williams on violin, Anne-Marie McDermott on piano, and the Altius String Quartet. While normal Women of Note luncheons see crowds of 25-30, members took the call for guests to heart, bringing in more than 50 members, patrons, and guests for this special event. The Symphony Guild was also present at their boutique, welcoming guests and allowing them to shop in support of the Symphony.
Ten minutes before the performance started, guests were ushered from the lobby and Guild shop into the concert hall where they made their way to center stage. The first items to greet them where two small banks of white sound shells, gently arched away from the empty audience seats. For this performance, the piano, chairs, and music stands were all arranged behind the sound shells so the musicians would be orientated to the back of the stage, where chairs had been set out on raisers.
In addition to being on stage and close to the musicians, the music itself was deeply intimate. Members and guests were held captive by the haunting melodies in Chausson’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet. From movement to movement, each musician grouping was featured in gripping ways – one moment highlighting the piano and violin, the next piano and quartet. The program brought listeners to the edge of their seats, watching as Huang-Williams pulled the melody off her strings and McDermott’s fingers danced across the keys. For all its eerie melodies, the piece’s final minutes build to a joyous, unified end.
After taking a bow, guests showered the musicians with questions about the composer, the musician’s individual backgrounds, and their rehearsal style. Curiosities sated, everyone made their way back up through the hall to the main lobby where tables had been set for lunch. The musicians had been close at hand for the performance and lunch was no different with at least one musician sitting at each table, offering a lively conclusion to a memorable event.
What started in 2011 with founding members Marin Alsop, Paula Bernstein, Terry Biddinger, Erna Butler, Eileen Honnen-McDonald, Sandy Lasky, and Mary Rossisk Kern, continues today in a vibrant, growing community of donors who believe in extraordinary support for their Symphony. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to Women of Note members and all Colorado Symphony donors who make what we do possible.