Join the Movement #GivingTuesday

2015-Save-the-Date_blue-PROFILE-image-sizeThe NRO is joining in the #GivingTuesday movement again this year and we are hoping to double our donations from last year (the 1st year NRO participated in this event).  Help us continue in our mission of Changing Lives Through Music and help us reach our goal of $8,000 in contributions on December 1, 2015!

Let’s make a difference together – It’s simple!
And you don’t have to wait until Dec. 1st – You can do it now!!

Step 1: Donate HERE! or call us at (970) 453-5825 to donate over the phone.  Please consider a monthly donation…

  • Just $5 per month feeds 1 musician for 1 week of the festival.
  • Just $10 per month houses 1 musician for 1 week of the festival.
  • Just $30 per month feeds 1 musician for the entire festival.
  • Just $80 per month houses 1 musician for the entire festival.

Eric's unselfie
Step 2:
Share your story! 
Why do you support the NRO? Inspire others to take action! Go to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  Be sure to #GivingTuesday and #NROmusic.  And, be sure to tag us @NROmusic.  If you don’t use social media, you can email us at info@nromusic.com and we’ll share your story for you.


What is #GivingTuesday?
#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.

As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another.

In the same way that Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off the buying season, #GivingTuesday kicks off the giving season. It’s a day to step back from the commercialization and consumerism that comes with the holiday season, and promote doing good for others. 

  • #GivingTuesday is a special call to action to create a global day of giving that brings diverse organizations and communities around the world together to give back.
  • #GivingTuesday celebrates generosity by providing people everywhere with an opportunity to give more, give smarter, and give great.
  • #GivingTuesday unifies charities, corporations, small business, and individuals from across the globe to show that the world gives as good as it gets.
  • You don’t have to be a world leader or a billionaire to give back. #GivingTuesday is about ordinary people coming together doing extraordinary things.
  • Find out more at www.givingtuesday.org


Are you a non-profit or business in Summit County and would like to get involved too? 
Please contact Kathleen at info@nromusic.com or (970) 453-5825


1990 Alumnus Now Principal Librarian with the Boston Symphony Orchestra

D  Wilson OchoaD. Wilson Ochoa, NRO Horn alumnus from 1990 (when NRO was in Keystone), is now the Principal Librarian with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

After leaving the NRO, Mr. Ochoa played professionally for 13 years with various organizations including the Memphis Symphony, Tulsa Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony, toured with the American Sinfonietta, and subbed with the Atlanta Symphony.

A medical issue ended his playing career and he became an orchestral librarian. Previously with the Charleston and Nashville symphonies, now Principal Librarian with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Ochoa states, “NRO was a wonderful experience for me and introduced me to several fellow horn players who have become lifelong friends – 25 years and counting! I will always be grateful for that experience.” Below he is pictured with the rest of the NRO 1990 horn section in Keystone, CO.

D. Wilson Ochoa and NRO 1990 horn section

Michael Marks Joined the Arizona Opera Orchestra

Michael MarksMichael Marks, NRO 2014, joined the Arizona Opera as its principal bassist and youngest member in May of 2013 and quickly fell in love with the operatic canon and the warm and welcoming community that thrives at Arizona Opera. During intermission and after concerts, Michael enjoys the genuine conversations shared with patrons, who walk over to peek inside the pit. He shares, “The fact that I’m as equally likely to speak with a curious student at his or her first opera as I am the seasoned subscription-holder is an incredible inspiration and gives me great hope for the next generation of this incredible art form. My experience with Arizona Opera has been as life-affirming as it has been enlightening and I count myself fortunate to be a part of the Arizona Opera family.”

Mr. Marks also adds about his NRO summer, “My experiences with the National Repertory Orchestra are unforgettable. For me, it was place to make lasting connections with new friends and really set deep roots in the orchestral repertoire that I wouldn’t have been able to do at any other summer festival.”

Luke Fitzpatrick Now Principal Flute of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic

Luke Fitzpatrick cutLuke Fitzpatrick, NRO 2012 alumnus, was recently appointed the new Principal Flute of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.  During the summer months, he also performs with the Des Moines Metro Opera orchestra.

Des Moines Metro Opera is a major American Summer Opera Festival founded in 1973 and is the state’s largest performing arts organization, annually producing over 100 performances in the metro area and around the region. Every summer, DMMO performs 3 operas in 15-16 MainStage performances. DMMO has received praise from Opera News Magazine, Opera Today, and the Colorado Music Buzz Magazine! As principal flutist of the DMMO, Luke performs on all of the MainStage operas, as well as other functions put on by the company as needed. 

During the academic year, Mr. Fitzpatrick plays principal flute with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra. The Fort Wayne Philharmonic is a cultural staple of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and presents an eclectic variety of concerts each season. Since 1980, the orchestra has won 5 awards for its adventurous programming form ASCAP (American Society of composers, authors, and publishers). The orchestra performs classical jewels on the “Masterworks” series, and in addition has a pops series, and a Freimann chamber music series. The Philharmonic is also highly invested in music education, and orchestra members are frequently performing and lecturing in area schools. 

When asked about his NRO experience, Luke shared, “NRO was an crucial part of my musical development, and I carry the experiences I had in Breckenridge with me to this day. The sheer amount of diversity in programming at the NRO helped to shape me into a versatile musician with experience in multiple styles of playing. I was especially influenced by the talented musicians I had the privilege of being in the flute section with that summer. A favorite memory of my summer in Breckenridge would certainly have to be July 4th, when all four flutes played “Stars and Stripes Forever” at the front of the stage with tiny American flags sticking out of the end of our piccolos.” 

Mike Grittani now with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago

Mike GrittaniMike Grittani, NRO 2014 alumnus and pictured here with Yo-Yo Ma, is entering​ his second (of two) seasons as a cellist with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training ensemble of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  The Civic Orchestra of Chicago aims to prepare young musicians for a full-time career in orchestral playing,  and Mike’s past year as a member of the cello section has been nothing short of stellar.  Mike states, “It is amazing sharing the space and receiving coaching from Symphony musicians, as well as working with famous artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Riccardo Muti.”

Mr. Grittani continues, “Before my first season with the Civic in 2014, I was fortunate enough to attend NRO.  The level of playing at NRO undoubtedly helped prime me for the Civic Orchestra, especially in preparing difficult music to a high standard in a short period of time.  On a personal level, I cherish the musical experiences and the friendships I formed at NRO, which were life changing.  I will look back fondly on my time in Breckenridge, and I hope to channel the inspiration from that summer through the rest of my musical life.  Thank you, NRO!”

Conrad Cornelison now with the Houston Grand Opera

Conrad CornelisonR. Conrad Cornelison has been working as a bassoonist with the Houston Grand Opera orchestra since 2015, and has formerly held the positions of Principal Bassoonist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra (Baton Rouge, LA) and Principal Bassoonist with the Symphony of Southeast Texas (Beaumont, TX). In the 2014-2015 season, he was a Young Artist fellow with Da Camera of Houston. Other appearances include performances with the Houston Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ballet Lubbock, among others. He holds degrees from Rice University, Juilliard, and the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he studied with Benjamin Kamins, Patricia Rogers, and Eric Stomberg, respectively. His early bassoon studies took place primarily with Matthew Schuler and Dan Duncan.

Conrad shares, “Performing with the National Repertory Orchestra was a fantastic experience for me in many ways. Having just finished my graduate studies when I joined the NRO, I feel as though the NRO experience was extremely helpful in transitioning to the professional world. I was given a training ground with the responsibility of learning – and performing at a high level – a much larger volume and variety of music than I had ever encountered before. Throughout the course of the summer, I learned to adapt to the expectations placed upon me, and found more efficient ways to guide my preparation and develop a greater consistency in my playing. I had the opportunity to perform amazing pieces of music with a fine orchestra, work with fantastic colleagues, and develop long-lasting connections and friendships.”

Lin Ma now with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Lin MaLin Ma, NRO 2013 alumnus, recently began a new job with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal clarinet and E-flat clarinet. Previously he played as second clarinet in a one year position with the Houston Symphony.

About his experience with the NRO, Lin Ma states, “My musical career has been moving forward significantly since my time with the NRO. The music festival not only brought my playing to a higher level, but also fulfilled my dream of playing a solo performance when I won the concerto competition.  This prepared me to win an international competition and perform as a soloist with a major American orchestra a year later. I received a lot from the NRO, and it made a big impact in my life. I would like to thank Maestro Carl Topilow for his great support and teachings. I also want to thank my NRO host parents Joanne Stolen and Rob Garrity immensely for their love and care.”