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Energized, Unsure & Triumphant
Signature Concert 2

The FCS has enacted measures to keep you, our partons, and the musicians and staff as safe as possible. Thank you in advance for your understanding, cooperation, and compliance.  If you are unable or unwilling to comply with the protocols, please contact the Lincoln Center Box Office for other options or a ticket refund: 970-221-6730.

  • Bring your official completed vaccination card or negative Covid PCR results (within 72 hours, no home kits). They will be checked at the door before your admittance into the performance hall.
  • Please keep your mask on at all times (covering mouth and nose) during the performance.
  • Beverages/food are not allowed in the Performance Hall. Concessions may be only be consumed in designated areas of the Lincoln Center lobby. You may remove your mask briefly when eating or drinking.
  • Note: At various times during the evening, fully vaccinated FCS musicians/staff may remove their masks on stage to perform or speak.

Once again, thank you for your cooperation as we work to ensure the safety of all during this season's in-person symphonic performances. We are glad to be back and honored to have you with us.

~ The FCS Board of Directors


Three composers explore an assortment of emotions ranging from despair to exhilaration. Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson challenges us with uncertainty in his interpretation of Carl Sandburg’s metaphorical poem, Grass. Felix Mendelssohn’s exuberant romp in Piano Concerto No. 1 was quickly composed after a trip to Italy. And, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica (Heroic) dives into the emotional landscapes of war with its complexities of helplessness, grief, tenderness, and triumph.
~ Maestro Wes Kenney
FCS Music Director

SC2 Sponsors and Partners

Thank You FCS Partners & Sponsors!

The generosity of our partners, underwriters, sponsors, and individual donors make this 2021-2022 Season possible. We invite you to join us in thanking all who keep us playing!

Signature Concert 2 Sponsors:

2021-2022 Concert Season Underwriters:

  • The City of Fort Collins Fort Fund
  • Dr. David & Alison Dennis
  • The Lyric
  • Dr. Ed Siegel
  • Dr. Peter Springberg & Jan Kowall

Media Sponsors:

Individual Donors:

Your individual gift (of any size) contributes to the overall success of your Symphony and its many programs.

To learn how you can become a major FCS partner, sponsor, or individual donor for future concerts and/or programs, please contact us: 970.482.4823 or mkopco@fcsymphony.org


Wes Kenney, Music Director
Bryan Wallick, Piano

Grass: Poem for Piano, Strings, and Percussion

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004)
Duration: 16 minutes

Piano Concerto no. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Duration: 20 minutes

Bryan Wallick, Piano

  1. Molto allegro con fuoco (very fast, with fire/passion)
  2. Andante (tranquil, expressive)
  3. Presto - Molto allegro e vivace (quick - very fast and lively)



We invite you to keep us playing by making a donation (of any size). It is the generosity of our community that makes it possible for your FCS to present concerts and programs such as this. Thank You! 

For upcoming FCS concerts, visit: FCSymphony.org/events


Symphony no. 3, "Eroica"

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Duration: 50 minutes

  1. Allegro con brio (fast, with spirit)
  2. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai (Funeral March: very slow)
  3. Scherzo: Allegro vivace (fast and lively)
  4. Finale: Allegro molto (Finale: very fast)
Guest Artist - Bryan Wallick

Bryan Wallick

Guest artist Bryan Wallick, the gold medalist of the 1997 Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev, Ukraine, is an internationally acclaimed pianist.  He and his colleagues Frank Stadler and Peter Martens won the kykNET award for Best Achievement in Classical Music at the South Africa 2021 Fiëstas for their performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. Wallick made his New York recital debut in 1998 at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and his Wigmore Hall recital debut in London in 2003.  He has performed at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall with the London Sinfonietta and at the St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church with the London Soloist’s Chamber Orchestra, given solo recitals at the Ravinia Festival, Colorado State University, Grand Teton Music Festival, El Paso’s University of Texas, Arizona’s Scottsdale Center, and throughout South Africa and Zimbabwe. In addition, Wallick has performed as concerto soloist with the Memphis Symphony, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Phoenix Symphony, Portland Symphony, and Winston-Salem Symphony. He studied with Jerome Lowenthal in New York City where he was the first Juilliard School graduate to receive both an undergraduate Honors Diploma (2000) and an accelerated master’s Degree (2001). He studied with Eugene and Elisabeth Pridonoff at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and with Christopher Elton at London’s Royal Academy of Music where he was the recipient of the Associated Board International Scholarship and received a Post-graduate Diploma with Distinction. Wallick is an assistant professor of piano at Colorado State University.

Click here to learn more about Bryan Wallick.

Music Director - Wes Kenney

Wes Kenney

The 2007 Grand Prize Winner of the Varna (Bulgaria) International Conducting Competition, a 2020 Honored Artist from the American Prize, a winner of the American Prize for programming in 2020, a winner of the Ernst Bacon Memorial Prize for excellence in performance of American Music, and now the 2020 American Prize Winner for best orchestral performance in the Professional Orchestra Division, Wes Kenney is celebrating his 19th season as Music Director of the Fort Collins (Colorado) Symphony and Director of Orchestras at Colorado State University. Wes Kenney is also in his ninth season with Denver Young Artist Orchestra—the premier youth orchestra in the state of Colorado—an orchestra recognized by the city of Denver for outreach.  He has led that orchestra on two European tours and anchored two festivals at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Kenney’s guest conducting activities include the Acadiana Symphony (LA), Alabama Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, Lafayette (IN) Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Riverside Symphonia, Savannah Symphony, and the Virginia Symphony. International guest conducting includes performances with the Liev (Ukraine) Philharmonic, Changwon (South Korea) Philharmonic, Vietnam National Symphony (Hanoi), Vidin State Philharmonic, Stara Zagora Opera Company in Bulgaria as well as the Edinburgh (Scotland) Music Festival.

Named Educator of the Year by the Colorado Chapter of the American String Teachers Association in 2008, Mr. Kenney enjoys working with talented young people in his position as Director of Orchestras at Colorado State University and has served as Guest Conductor with the Alabama, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Virginia All-State Orchestras. Awarded the prestigious Carmen Dragon Conducting Prize in 1992, Wes Kenney is a founder of the CSU Summer Master of Music Education with an emphasis in conducting program, now in its 12th year.

SC2 Program Notes

Energized, Unsure & Triumphant
Signature Concert #2
Program Notes by Dr. K. Dawn Grapes

Click here to read Dr. William E. Runyan's in-depth program notes.

Grass: Poem for Piano, Strings, and Percussion

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson

Date of Composition: 1956   
Duration: 16 minutes


Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?
I am the grass.
Let me work.
~ Carl Sandburg

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carl Sandburg penned these words in 1918, revealing his thoughts on the futility of war and its associated senseless deaths. American composer Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932–2004) embraced the same words almost 40 years later, as inspiration for a new work: Grass, a one-movement composition for piano, strings, and percussion. Perkinson grew up in New York City. His musician mother named him after the early 20th century British, mixed-race composer and conductor Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Perkinson not only lived up to his namesake’s achievements, producing a solid core of art music compositions and conducting various ensembles, but he also made a name for himself writing and arranging jazz, popular music, and film scores. Throughout his career, Perkinson advocated for the Black community and its performing artists in particular. He is credited as a founder of the first fully integrated orchestra in the U.S., the Symphony of the New World (1971), as well as Chicago’s New Black Music Repertory Ensemble (1999), a group dedicated to performing diverse musical styles.

Just 24-years-old at the time Grass was composed, Perkinson had watched as young soldiers, many of them Black Americans, were shipped off to fight in the Korean War. In 1948, Harry S. Truman had issued an executive order calling for full racial integration of the U.S. Armed Forces. Military leaders, however, were slow to implement the policy. When the U.S. began formal military actions supporting South Korea in 1950, many U.S. divisions were still segregated. Over 100 units were Black. These soldiers often experienced discrimination in training, were undersupplied in the field, and at times were assigned white commanders who saw the appointments as “punishments.” Yet these servicemen fought bravely. By the end of the war in 1953, disparities had decreased significantly as units were finally desegregated and more Black officers rose in rank. Over 600,000 Black Americans served in Korea. More than 3,000 of them died in active combat. Perkinson was of draftable age throughout the entire conflict and stories of young men like himself, dying in the field and languishing in POW camps, must have affected him deeply.

Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, op. 25

   Felix Mendelssohn

   Date of Composition: 1831   
   Duration: 21 minutes


It is sometimes easy to forget that Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) died at just 38-years-old, perhaps because his published works sound so mature. Yet many were written when the composer was at an age when most of us are still trying to figure out where our talents lie. Hailed by Robert Schumann in 1840 as a new Mozart, Felix began his musical education as a child alongside his sister Fanny. Unlike the Mozarts, however, most of their early performances took place privately within their own residence. Still, the Mendelssohn household attracted many of Berlin’s top political figures, artists, and intellectuals for regular social and musical gatherings, allowing the siblings a certain degree of artistic notoriety. Mendelssohn began composing at age ten. Although only a small proportion of his adolescent works were published, by age seventeen he had come into his own. In 1827, the premiere performance of his Overture to a Midsummer Night’s Dream marked the beginning of a successful musical career. Two years later, Mendelssohn conducted a revival of J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, one often credited with instilling new life into the Baroque master’s oeuvre.

The years 1830 and 1831 were important ones for the young man. Mendelssohn was learning about life in the most exciting way possible—by travelling throughout Europe, taking in its wonders through the eyes of a curious, well-educated, and well-connected 21-year-old. Having already spent much of 1829 in the British Isles, he left Berlin in May 1830 for a grand tour of Italy, stopping along the way in Leipzig, Weimar, Munich, and Vienna. On his return in 1831, he landed once again in Munich, where Delphine von Schauroth resided, a lovely 16-year-old pianist who served as a musical inspiration. Mendelssohn’s contentment in the German city sounds forth in letters written home. In one, he exclaims: “It is a glorious feeling to waken in the morning and to know that you are going to write the score of a grand allegro … whilst bright weather holds out the hope of a cheering, long walk in the afternoon … I scarcely know a place where I feel as comfortable and domesticated as here. Above all it is very pleasant to be surrounded by cheerful faces, and to know your own is the same, and to be acquainted with everyone you meet in the streets.” [The Mendelssohn Letters]

Ten days later, Mendelssohn’s music filled the Odeon concert hall. The program featured the Midsummer Night’s Dream overture as well as his 1824 First Symphony. The highlight, however, was the premiere of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, op. 25, with the composer at the keyboard. Though labelled No. 1, Mendelssohn had written other works for one or two pianos and orchestra in his adolescence. Yet this was his first mature work in the genre, a sort of coming-of-age concerto for a composer who was also a fine performer. The work undoubtedly showed off his impeccable training and depth of musical passion, and its short orchestral introduction and continuity between movements marked a shift in concerto expectations. Mendelssohn composed the work in three days, finishing just before the premiere, although he had planned out the movements in his head while travelling in Italy. He dedicated the work to his muse, Delphine, but if our genius had once harbored thoughts of pursuing a deeper relationship with her, they were by then pushed aside. He soon set off once again, this time on his way to Paris.

Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, op. 55, “Eroica”

   Ludwig van Beethoven

   Date of Composition: 1802–1804
   Duration: 50 minutes

If just one adjective were offered to describe Beethoven’s Third Symphony, the word “more” might come to mind. As an orchestral work, the composition offered audiences of its time an enhanced experience as compared to anything they might have heard previously: more length, more depth, more variety, more passion. It was simply … more.

The story of Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major is compelling. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) first titled his opus 55 “Buonaparte,” ostensibly a dedication to Napoleon. Beethoven was 29 years old when a new constitution marked the end of the French Revolution. The effects of the conflict, however, continued long past its “official” conclusion, spawning the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. These events affected all of Europe. By 1804, the year in which Beethoven completed his Third Symphony, Napoleon led a consulate that controlled regions of the low countries and Italian lands and large swaths of German-speaking territory. A brilliant strategist and propagandist, Napoleon presented his militaristic efforts in the name of peace-keeping and preservation of liberty, despite bringing violence and dissent. In early 1804, Imperial Austria had not yet picked a side to support, neither aligning with France nor joining the opposing Russian and British forces. Scholars hold divided opinions regarding Beethoven’s feelings toward Bonaparte, complicated by conflicting reports from his own contemporaries. Some scholars suggest that Beethoven was at heart a revolutionary, enamored with Napoleon’s rhetoric. The ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity certainly resounded deeply within his soul, as seen in the brotherhood theme that rings so clearly in his Ninth Symphony. Others acknowledge what seems to be scorn for the General in the composer’s writings, noting Beethoven’s role in Viennese society as one closely connected with aristocratic, republican patrons, many of whom were personal friends. Some have even suggested that the Eroica symphony was not really inspired by Napoleon at all, but that the military leader was at the forefront of Beethoven’s mind upon completion of the composition.

Regardless, Beethoven told his publisher that the title of the new work was “Buonaparte.” Later, his student and friend Ferdinand Ries wrote that Beethoven flew into a rage just before the premiere of the work when informed that Napoleon had pronounced himself emperor, declaring the Frenchman no better than any other tyrant. The title page of the score used to conduct the private premiere bears witness, as the inscription, which read “Sinfonia Grande Intitulata Bonaparte,” has its final two words violently scratched away. When the symphony was published in 1806, its new subtitle read, “Sinfonia Eroica composta per festiggiare il Souvenire di un grand’uomo” (Heroic Symphony composed to celebrate the remembrance of a great man). Beethoven never revealed who that great man might be, implying that the work is not a tribute to one specific individual, but to all who have undertaken true greatness: the everyman.

The Eroica might be considered a musical revolution in its own right, representing the composer’s movement beyond the conventions of classical symphonists who preceded him. Its length far surpasses the expectations of contemporaneous orchestral audiences. The incorporation of a funeral march for the slow movement is surprising, though not novel, and provides the most definitive link to French activities of the time. The syncopations and metrical ambiguities of the scherzo push the limits of a third-movement placement that had always at least mimicked dance forms. Most strikingly, the composer’s reliance on pre-classical contrapuntal techniques, fused with modern harmonies, instrumentation, and ranges in the finale, created a musical and philosophical depth that confounded critics of the time. Ultimately, it was Beethoven’s ability to push musical boundaries that propelled him to a reputation of genius. The Eroica marks a point in his compositional life when that genius bloomed forth. Today, more than 200 years after the Third Symphony premiered, the composer’s musical passion still rings through.

~ Program Notes by Dr. K. Dawn Grapes   ©2021

SC2 Musician Roster

First Violin

  • Heejung Kim, Concertmaster
  • Nina Fronjian, Assistant Concertmaster
  • Mary Evans, Principal
  • Jean Denney
  • Chelsea Winborne
  • Heather MacArthur
  • Stephanie Bork
  • Therese Bakker
  • Leslie Stewart
  • Elizabeth Furuiye

Second Violin

  • Sarah Whitnah, Principal
  • Evan De Long, Assistant Principal
  • Jennifer Crim
  • Arlo Adams
  • Hannah Kennedy
  • Marci Pilon
  • Zo Manfredi
  • Robert Kreutz


  • Ethan Hecht, Principal
  • Erin Napier, Assistant Principal
  • Kyla Witt
  • Ezgi Pikayzen
  • James Shaw
  • Megan Edrington


  • Becky Kutz Osterberg, Principal
  • Peter Linder, Assistant Principal
  • Beth Wells
  • Ethan Blake
  • Yi-Ching Lee
  • Elizabeth Gergel


  • Forest Greenough, Principal
  • Erik Deines, Assistant Principal
  • Zack Niswender
  • Bailey Bennett


  • Norman Menzales, Principal
  • Kristin Sommer, 2nd/Associate Principal


  • Pablo Hernandez, Principal
  • Brittany Bonner, 2nd


  • Kellan Toohey, Principal
  • David Halperin, 2nd


  • Tom Bittinger, Principal
  • Jeffrey McCray, 2nd


  • John McGuire, Principal
  • Ayo Derbyshire, 2nd
  • David Smalley, 3rd


  • Stanley Curtis, Principal
  • Derek McDonald, 2nd/Associate Principal


  • Mike Tetreault, Principal


  • Leo T. Canale, Principal

To learn more about your FCS musicians, please visit: fcsymphony.org/orchestra

Make a Donation NOW!

Your Generous Support
Keeps Us Playing!

Help keep us playing with your donation (of any size) now. Thank you for your consideration. 

It is the generosity of our community that makes it possible for your Fort Collins Symphony (a non-profit arts organization) to present spectacular concerts and engaging educational programs to residents and visitors alike in Northern Colorado. Programs include:

  • The Signature Concert Series
  • The spring Pops! Concert
  • The festive and free annual July 4th Concert
  • The Youth Education Series (YES) outreach concerts to introduce instruments and live music to Larimer County elementary students
  • The B Sharp Arts EngagementPprogram for people living with dementia and their care partners
  • The Open Notes Program for at-risk and underserved audiences
  • Lunchtime Composer Talks and pre-concert Maestro’s Musings
  • Meet the Guest Artist receptions
  • Free Open Rehearsals

FCS concerts, programs, and initiatives are designed to inspire, bring joy, and provide an environment that is engaging, nurturing, and inclusive for all residents of and visitors to Northern Colorado.

We invite you to discover more about your Fort Collins Symphony by visiting: FCSymphony.org/

Upcoming Regional Arts Events

Your Fort Collins Symphony is just one of many outstanding and award-winning performing arts organizations in the Northern Colorado region. We are proud to promote their performances, concerts, and events. We hope you will support them as well!

Friends of the Symphony

The Friends of the Symphony is a nonprofit organization whose purpose shall be to support and promote the growth of the Fort Collins Symphony financially, socially, and educationally.

Since its inception in 1963, the Friends have donated over one million dollars to the Fort Collins Symphony, created numerous initiatives and educational outreach programs, and worked to advance a culture of arts in our community for the benefit of persons of all ages and musical interests. Friends of the Symphony members apply their interests and skills in a variety of ways in our fundraisers, education events, member meetings, and activities. For more information and/or to join, visit: fcsymphony.org/fos/

FoS programs include:

  • The Meet the Artist series provides an opportunity for music lovers to spend an informal evening to meet an FCS guest artist. Learn about their music and experience an intimate performance at a volunteer’s home or other small venue.
  • Composer Talks are held prior to each Signature Concert to help audiences learn about the details of each composer. Hosted by CSU Professor Dr. Dawn Grapes. 
  • The Musical Zoo is an annual education event where children, families, and anyone interested in music are encouraged to explore music in all of its forms. It's a fun afternoon of adventures with musical instruments, locally-sourced performances, and topped off with a family-friendly collboartive performance by the full Fort Collins Symphony and Canyon Concert Ballet.
  • The Friends of the Symphony Endowed Chair Program totals over $596,000 and resides in a balanced pool at the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado. Interest from this fund supports orchestra musician salaries. In 1999, Kay Edwards set a goal of endowing 36 musician chairs. After 22 years of hard work, Kay not only met her goal in 2021, she exceeded it by one with a total of 37 endowed musician chairs. The Fort Collins Symphony Association is deeply grateful for Kay’s vision and commitment to supporting the orchestra.

NEW! Sharyn H. & Larry J. Salmen Third Horn Endowed Chair:
In 2021, Sharyn H. & Larry J. Salmen endowed this chair to honor all of the friendships made during Women’s Guild of the Fort Collin Symphony (Friends of the Symphony) fundraisers, educational programs, and membership events.  Through their efforts, Sharyn—a Past President and Honorary Life Member—and Larry have supported the performance of live symphonic music in the community. For the Salmens, “It’s all been about the Music!”

Sharyn H. & Larry J. Salmen

NEW! Mary A. Kopco Second Flute Endowed Chair:
Friends of Mary A. Kopco established an endowed chair to commemorate her outstanding dedication, devotion, and diligence as Executive Director of the Fort Collins Symphony since February 2015.  Ms. Kopco has focused extraordinary attention and exceptional creativity to all aspects of her position, including budgeting, grant-writing, programming, and organizational management.  May this chair be a constant expression of gratitude for her excellent leadership in the FCS.

Mary Kopco

NEW! Paisley Pettine Second Trombone Endowed Chair:
Dr. Kenneth Pettine endowed this chair in honor of his wife, Paisley.  Paisley has served with great joy for many years as a board member of the FCSA. As a long-time Pilates instructor, she understands how both physical movement and music sustain, inspire, soothe and heal the body and the soul.

Paisley Pettine

To see all 37 endowed orchestra chairs, please visit: fcsymphony.org/fos/fundraising/

B Sharp: An Arts Engagement Program

The B Sharp Arts Engagement® Program was founded in 2015 with the purpose of engaging people living with dementia and their caregivers in an immersive community musical experience. The Fort Collins Symphony, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, Larimer County Office on Aging, Colorado State University, and Dementia Together® provides 30 people living with dementia and their primary care partner with the opportunity to attend Symphony performances, and participate in a Colorado State University study where a number of factors are explored, including: the impact of music on the cognitive ability of participants with dementia, the social connections between the caregiver and person with dementia, and the degree to which study participants felt supported by the community.