Bravo! Vail

Bridging Gaps in Music Education

As the 2024 Bravo! Vail Music Festival gears up for its 37th year, it continues to celebrate the power of music to inspire, educate and bring communities together. This year’s festivities are set to kick off with a season announcement concert and celebration event on Jan. 30, 2024 at Donovan Pavilion in Vail.


Bravo! Vail executive director Caitlin Murray and artistic director Anne-Marie McDermott will be on hand to unveil the lineup for the upcoming festival, set to run from June 20 to Aug. 1, 2024. Highlighting the event will be a performance by members of Sinfónica de Minería, who are in town for a winter residency.

Bravo! Vail

Photos courtesy of Tomas Cohen

Christy Pierce, Bravo! Vail communication and grants specialist, says that this is not just a concert, but a testament to Bravo! Vail’s commitment to making music accessible to all. Following the season announcement concert, these musicians will embark on a mission to inspire the next generation through outreach performances at local schools on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2024.


Bravo! Vail’s dedication to music education is further exemplified by the Music Makers Haciendo Música program. Catering to students in grades 2-12 in the Eagle and Lake County school districts, this after-school program offers instruction in violin, piano and ensemble playing.

“Music is the only subject that stimulates all parts of the brain, creating and establishing important pathways that will allow a student to access them their entire lives,” Bravo! Vail director of education and engagement Aileen Pagán-Rohwer says. “It is a known and researched fact that students who are consistently involved in music perform better on academic requirements as well as function at a higher level in group activities.”

Bravo! Vail


With a focus on accessibility, the program provides full scholarships and low-cost instrument rentals, ensuring that economic circumstances never hinder a student’s ability to pursue their musical passions.

Pierce emphasizes this initiative addresses a significant gap in music education, particularly at the elementary school level, where fewer than half of the participating schools have a full-time music teacher. Through Music Makers Haciendo Música, approximately 300 students are given the opportunity to explore their musical talents and develop lifelong skills. “Our ensembles provide the only extracurricular music ensembles offered to advanced students in the entire county,” Pierce says.


Beginning June 20, 2024, the 37th Bravo! Vail Festival promises an array of performances that celebrate the diversity of classical music. The festival kicks off with the Sinfónica de Minería residency, presenting a lineup that spans traditional classical compositions to vibrant Latin American works.

Mark your calendars now! Highlights of the festival include the following Orchestral Series concerts at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater:

June 20, 2024, 6 p.m.

Sinfónica de Minería performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring Anne-Marie McDermott on piano and led by Carlos Miguel Prieto.

June 22, 2024, 6 p.m.

Guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas, cantaora Esperanza Fernández and flamenco dancer Isaac Tovar join Sinfónica de Minería under the direction of Carlos Miguel Prieto in a Spanish and French-inspired program, including works by Ravel, Rodrigo and de Falla.

Bravo! Vail

June 23, 2024, 6 p.m.

Carlos Miguel Prieto and the Sinfónica de Minería present a Latin American program featuring renowned trumpeter Pacho Flores performing Paquito D’Rivera and his own Cantos y Revueltas, alongside works by Gabriela Ortiz, Ginastera and Arturo Márquez.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra residency will follow, taking place from June 26 to July 1, 2024, and rooted in ensuring that every concertgoer experiences a diverse and memorable musical journey.

The Bravo! Vail team explains that this year’s festival is not only a celebration of music but also a testament to the power of education and accessibility in the world of classical music. And, with educational initiatives like Music Makers Haciendo Música, Bravo! Vail says it will continue its mission to inspire and nurture the next generation of music enthusiasts in the Valley.