Symphony plays Disney, remembers Breslin |

Symphony plays Disney, remembers Breslin

Judy Ingelhart practicing with the rest of Symphony in the Valley at Glenwood Springs High School.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |

In addition to a long-planned Disney themed performance, Symphony in the Valley is planning a full sendoff for local musician and former New Castle mayor Frank Breslin this weekend.

A musical tribute was part of Breslin’s memorial in August, but “At a Dixieland Jazz Funeral” will give the whole symphony a chance to pay its respects.

“Frank was a tremendously talented musician and a multifaceted person,” observed fellow Noodle Soup Jazz Group member and friend Greg Russi. “He could talk about anything. He read all the time and knew stuff people didn’t ordinarily know.”

“His life was all about living and giving,” he added. “This is the perfect piece. It’s exactly what Frank would have appreciated. It has this deep somber side to it and becomes a celebration of life.”

The only catch was that the music didn’t include strings. Luckily, one of the members had the composer as a college professor, who in turn agreed to add a string section. The resulting version is dedicated to Breslin.

“It definitely adds another layer to the music,” said conductor Kelly Thompson.

“It’s going to be good,” Russi agreed. “It’s challenging music, and it fits together nicely. Our concertmaster has a lot to do, and he’s as usual rising to the occasion.”

The Disney section of the performance includes old favorites like “When You Wish Upon a Star” featuring the voice of Willie Moseley, as well as more recent additions like music from “Frozen” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

It also delves into some serious classical works thanks to “Fantasia” and “Fantasia 2000.”

“There’s a lot of music there. I just tried to have a mix,” Thompson said. “We started a couple years ago doing a lot more pops, because that’s kind of what audiences want to hear more.”

It doesn’t seem to be hurting the local nonprofit.

“We’re bigger than we’ve been in years. I think part of it is because the music is fun,” Thompson added. “That’s part of what I think a community orchestra should be.”

The show takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ute Theater, 132 E. Fourth St. in Rifle, and 4 p.m. Sunday at Glenwood Springs High School’s Jeannie Miller Theater at 1521 Grand Ave.. Tickets are $10 for kids and seniors and $15 for adults. For pre-purchase and more information, visit

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