Michael Christie,Â?Colorado Music Festival director, leads a performance in July 2007 at Chautauqua Park.
Michael Christie,Â?Colorado Music Festival director, leads a performance in July 2007 at Chautauqua Park.

BOULDER, Colo. –

The Colorado Music Festival and the Rocky Mountain Center for Musical Arts said Tuesday they will merge their organizations and continue to offer the same services they have in the past.

Officials with the musical festival group and RMCMA said they hope that the merger will benefit both organizations and enhance the quality of their services.

“We have education embedded in our summer program but we realize the limitations of a six-week (festival) program,” said Colorado Music Festival Executive Director Catherine Underhill. “We realized that, by collaborating with the school, we could become one and do a lot more than we do now. I think both organizations see this as an opportunity to do more than either of us could do alone.”

Underhill said she did not anticipate any job cuts because each group has a different focus â one on education, the other on the summertime festival.

Colorado Music Festival, founded in 1976, presents a festival of classical, world and chamber music concerts at Boulder’s Chautauqua Auditorium. This year’s festival runs from June 27 to Aug. 7.

The Center for Musical Arts, founded in 1995, serves approximately 700 students and employs 40 professional music teachers. Students’ ages range from six months to 80 years old.

The RMCMA will change its name to the Rocky Mountain Center for Musical Arts, the Education Division of the Colorado Music Festival but the group will continue to offer the same services that it has in the past.

Peggy Bruns, RMCMA’s executive director, said that she sees the merger as a positive development and one that will be beneficial for their students.

“We’ve been working together for years and the more we talked, the more we realized that we could make a bigger impact together than apart,” she said. “This is not a financial move; it has to do with our impact in the community and what we’ll be able to do moving forward.”

Bahman Saless, music director at the Boulder Chamber Orchestra, agreed that the merger would be mutually beneficial for both of the organizations involved as well as a plus for the Colorado music scene.

“If this makes them a more diversified institution, they will have a bigger footprint and will be more influential,” he said. “I think if everyone else is stable it helps us, as well.”

Daniel Sher, dean of the University of Colorado’s music college, also said the merger was a good move.

“They are both substantial organizations that do extraordinary work in their own right,” he said. “This is an era of business mergers and they must have seen this as an opportunity to remain important cultural forces in the community.”

The merger is expected to be complete before the end of this year.


Leftover String Cheese?


3/31/2009 8:21:07 PM