BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado Music Festival is in full swing at Chautauqua Auditorium. The festival draws exceptional musicians from around the world, and for the first time this year, it's also offering an outstanding learning experience.
"I've always just loved the sound of the violin," said Reuben Kebede, a violinist with the Ivalas Quartet.
He, along with violinist Tiani Butts, violist Aimee McAnulty, and cellist Pedro Sanchez make up the quartet. They're all in graduate school at the University of Colorado Boulder. They are also the first fellows at the Colorado Music Festival.
"It's amazing. We get to work with great guest artists who come to perform," Kebede explained.
The quartet is rehearsing for its own performance, but also learning from the incredible musicians gathered for the festival.
"We also get the opportunity to play a couple of concerts with the orchestra," said Pedro Sanchez.
The fellowship program is designed to build up young quartets.
"We want to promote diversification in our field," said Elizabeth McGuire, executive director of the festival.
For their performance at the Boulder Bandshell, Ivalas Quartet will be doing a mix of old and new music, one piece by Beethoven, another by a contemporary composer, Carlos Simon.
"It talks about the migration of African American people from the South to the North," Sanchez explained. "The first movement is called 'Rays of Light' and the second movement is called 'Flight,' and the last movement is called 'Settle.'
"One thing that's very interesting about the work is that it ends in a way that isn't quite settled," Kebede told CBS4. "Music, it can be used as an instrument for social change."
A piece that makes you think and feel, in a way that only good music can do.
Ivalas Quartet is performing at the Boulder Bandshell on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 7 p.m.
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