Rockin’ symphony in Grand Junction Saturday | PostIndependent.com

Rockin’ symphony in Grand Junction Saturday

Sharon Sullivan
ssullivan@gjfreepress.com
Vocalists perform at a prior Rocketra concert.
Submitted photo |

GO&DO

WHAT: Grand Junction 2014 Rockestra — “Dazed and Confused: Rock Music in Movies”

WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Robinson Theater at Colorado Mesa University

COST: Reserved seating; tickets $20 and $25

INFO: www.gjsymphony.org, 970-243-6787, or visit the Grand Junction Symphony office at 414 Main St.

Rock and roll and classical music comes together in Grand Junction Symphony’s Rockestra — the only professional rock orchestra west of the Missouri River.

Don’t miss the group’s “Dazed and Confused” concert at Colorado Mesa University’s Robinson Theater; it’s set for Saturday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m.

A 40-piece orchestra of strings, woodwinds and brass are the backdrop for this four-piece rock band accompanied by six vocalists performing classic rock tunes of the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Songs from movies of the last four decades — such as Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” from the movie “Easy Rider,” and Edgar Winter’s song “Free Ride” from “Dazed and Confused,” plus the song “Shout” from the film “Animal House” — are among the classic rock songs to be performed.

Rock band members include guitarist Scott Davis (of Exit 42), bass player Scot Bingham, drummer Darin Kamstra, and keyboardist Doug Morrow — all of whom also teach music in the Grand Valley.

Josh Allen, Bryce MacEvoy and Jeena Williams join Rockestra veteran vocalists Toni Lombardi, Rich Lyon and Katie Walters for an “evening of powerful solos, rousing duets, and a few songs featuring the entire ensemble,” according to a symphony news release.

Behind all of them will sit the 40-piece orchestra, directed by CMU music department head Calvin Hofer.

Hofer founded Rockestra in Grand Junction in 2011, after visiting the Sioux City, Iowa, symphony orchestra as a guest conductor. He watched a DVD of one of the Iowa orchestra’s Rockestra concerts and immediately thought it would go over big in Grand Junction, he said.

“The new venture has been great for us,” the symphony’s marketing director Jeremy Herigstad said. The hope with Rockestra is that “if people see what an orchestra can do, they might (also) try a classical concert.

“It’s been great; a lot of fun. We’re close to selling out at every concert.”

The Grand Junction Symphony, in partnership with the CMU music department, put on two or three concerts a year. Ticket proceeds benefit both the symphony and the college music department.

“We also do a Rocker Ball in early summer,” with the rock band and the orchestra, dinner and dancing, and a silent auction, Herigstad said.

When forming the rock band for Rockestra, Hofer said he “asked his dear friends, (and) told them his vision. They were all in and have been with it ever since.”

The last few concerts have had themes as well. In October, it was British bands, including songs from the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and Elton John. Other songs from the upcoming “Dazed and Confused” concert will include “Reign Over Me,” “Wild Hogs,” and “Rock of Ages.”

All seats are reserved and tickets are $20 and $25. They can be purchased online at http://www.gjsymphony.org, by calling 970-243-6787, or visiting the Grand Junction Symphony office at 414 Main St. Tickets will also be available at the box office the night of the concert beginning at 6 p.m.


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