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Jefferson Symphony Orchestra moves to new venue in Wheat Ridge

First concert in new venue is Feb. 25


David Kummer, a husband and father of three, has an important role in his family — to be the audience.

“We often joke about that,” Kummer said, adding he is the only one in his immediate family that does not play a musical instrument. “Seeing a musical piece performed live is much more meaningful than listening to even a very good recording of that same piece.”

Kummer’s wife Linda plays violin with the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra. And the couple is looking forward to the orchestra’s first performance on Feb. 25 at its new venue — the Wheat Ridge United Methodist Church.

The JSO “always has an interesting program,” David Kummer said, “and the music is always very well done.”

Now in its 65th season, the orchestra has performed on the Colorado School of Mines campus in Golden for the past 46 years. However, a renovation project in the campus’ Green Center, where the orchestra is hosted, forced the move.

The orchestra’s new home is at the Wheat Ridge United Methodist Church, 7530 W. 38th Ave.

A few things concert-goers can look forward to with the move are the acoustics in the church, plenty of parking and a more intimate venue, said Karen Pring, one of the orchestra’s board members and violinists.

However, it is about half the size, Pring said. According to Mines’ website, Bunker Auditorium in the Green Center seats 1,100, and the Wheat Ridge United Methodist Church seats 450.

Wanda Beck, the orchestra’s principal violist, and her husband Larry, the orchestra’s principal oboe player, joined the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra in 1968. They believe concerts at the church will be much more satisfying for both the musicians and the concert-goers. This is simply because the Green Center was not built as a concert hall, Wanda Beck said. It was built as a lecture hall, she added

Concerts at the church will provide the audience with a “warmer feeling,” Wanda Beck said.

The church is well-known among local performance groups for its acoustics, said Steve Mallinson, the orchestra’s associate conductor and tuba player who is Wheat Ridge United Methodist Church’s music director.

“The orchestra sounds wonderful in there,” he said. “Concert-goers will enjoy the sound.”

Music is important to our culture, Mallinson said, and it’s a great benefit to have such a fine-performing orchestra so easily available to everyone.

Pring agrees, and added that the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra consists of high-quality musicians, despite it being a volunteer group.

“We’re lucky to attract such good musicians,” she said.

And one thing that’s unique about the group is how long members stay, Pring said.

“People usually stick with us once they join,” Pring said. “It’s a great group of people that enjoys making music.”

The Becks attribute one reason the orchestra is so good to Dr. William Morse, the orchestra’s music director and principal conductor.

“He’s well-versed,” Wanda Beck said, and added that “he’s a pleasant person to work with. He smiles a lot.”

But everyone works hard to make the orchestra a success, Larry Beck added.

“We’re one big family working together to accomplish one common goal,” he said. And that is “to perform high-quality music.”


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