MOTM October 2018 - Mr. Scott Schlup

Welcome back to the Fort Collins Wind Symphony Blog, Musician of the Month!

MOTM October 2018 Scott Schlup.jpg

We are excited to continue our celebration of classical music and the FCWS with an interview with one of our fine musicians, Mr. Scott Schlup! Mr. Schlup has, amazingly, provided 27 years of service and performance with the FCWS, dating back to the inception of the FCWS in 1991.

Mr. Schlup is an incredible educator for the Northern Colorado region, and in addition to his time with the FCWS he teaches at Rocky Mountain High School and is the musical director of the Loveland Concert Band. His biography can be found at

To celebrate his contribution to the organization, we interviewed Mr. Scott Schlup to find out more about him and the history of the FCWS.

FCWS: In your words, please tell us who you are and the role you play in the Fort Collins Wind Symphony.

Schlup: My name is Scott Schlup, and I’m one of the trumpet players, one of the founding members, and was president for quite a few years. 

FCWS: Yes, that’s right! And for the audience who didn’t know that you were a founding member - you *are* one of the founding members! And that was back in 1991, I believe. That was in the inaugural year. What led you to create this ensemble? Why make the Fort Collins Wind Symphony?

Schlup: I was approached by Cindy Harraway and Jana Thomas about forming a group that really would honor the wind band literature. A lot of the community bands can’t approach some of the harder literature, and so from a performer stand point, at that point in my time, I thought it was intriguing and really wanted to continue my playing. And so that’s where it started for me.

FCWS: And you’ve been with it the entire time, right? There hasn’t been a time where you left a little bit?

Schlup: I missed one concert in my career.

FCWS: Wow! That is actually quite impressive, since 1991. So over those 27 years, how has the Fort Collins Wind Symphony impacted the Northern Colorado community?

Schlup: So I think the impact on it has been mostly in the education field. As a teacher it’s one of the goals that I brought to the Board, was getting students to be involved. And so when the organization started we were charging for tickets and some kids couldn’t get to concerts so we eliminated charging for tickets and wanted it to be a place where kids could come and find a hero in their musical world. We invite students to come to rehearsals and sit by players to find out what it’s like to be a professional musician, and so that’s really the impact that I’ve seen. But we’ve also played at a national concert band festival so we’ve brought some notoriety to Fort Collins and the quality that we’re able to do here as well.

FCWS: Are a lot of your students – do they come to the concerts?

Schlup: Yeah, I have a lot of my students from Rocky who come and this year we’re going to have a lot more coming into rehearsals. 

FCWS: Yeah, I remember when I was with Mark Bretting at Blevins, and I came to a couple of those rehearsals and those were really cool to see. Now we’re going to step away for a tiny bit, because you don’t only participate in the Fort Collins Wind Symphony, but you also have a lot of other musical gigs, some of them being in Loveland! So why don’t I ask you about the Loveland Concert Band and your role in that organization, and how participation in the Fort Collins Wind Symphony and the Loveland Concert Band complement each other.

Schlup: Before I got to Loveland, I was in the Northern Colorado Concert Band and I was a musical director there, and what’s interesting about all the community bands is they all have a different take on what it is, and a different clientele that come. And so the Loveland Concert Band for me is just a fun outlet for adults to come and play. They want to continue the fun that they had in an ensemble and so as the musical director there I just get to conduct a lot of fun musicians doing a lot of fun music. That’s a little different in terms of what we do with the Wind Symphony which is a little more focused in terms of trying to get to the highest level that we can, and bring the highest level of music that we can. I think they complement each other a lot, I think they both have a great place in our community, and for me as an educator, I want our students to know that when they leave high school if they choose not to go into music, there is still a place for them to play. They just have to find the right group.

FCWS: That’s right, finding the right group – that’s important! Especially for students who may not choose a professional route with music. As a music educator, your influence is significant both with the Wind Symphony and the Loveland Concert Band, as well as what you do at Rocky Mountain High School. You’ve been there how many years?

Schlup: I think 12 or 13. I don’t know, they just fly by! 

FCWS: And you were at Lesher beforehand?

Schlup: That’s right.

FCWS: So you’ve quite an influence over Fort Collins/Northern Colorado music education. What’s the importance of music education in student’s lives? 

Schlup: So, for me, the music classes work on both sides of the brain. It forces students to perform real time problem solving and self-analysis, while also requiring the brain to be creative and interpret the creative input from their peers and their directors. I think it teaches teamwork, dedication, self-improvement, and perseverance, and all of those are the skills that every college and employer is looking for. 

FCWS: So I assume you’d say that the arts still have a very vital place in all education?

Schlup: I believe that whole heartedly.

FCWS: Do you have any advice for any young musicians in the audience?

Schlup: Boy, just keep listening! That’s where you really learn it. If you think about how we learned how to speak, it was by imitating sounds that our parents made. And so, you know, to become a great trumpet player you just have to find a great trumpet sound and emulate that. It’s just all listening.

FCWS: So this next one is a bit of an abstract question, moving away from all this fun stuff. What is the value of classical music in our society? Is it still relevant?

Schlup: I believe classical music is alive and well. What has changed it there are a lot more avenues to get the classical music. The National Endowment for the Arts did a survey back in 1982 and repeated it 30 years later and they found that the number of adults going to concerts – classical concerts – only dropped 2.8%, which [after] 30 years and the whole gloom and doom of “no more audiences for classical music” doesn’t really work. You look at it and you say “Well, we dropped 2.8%” but the now the Metropolitan Opera is showing full HD productions in movie theaters around the nation. So those people are going to a performance, it’s just not the live version of the performance. Or, you know, I watch the Berlin Phil – I can watch their entire season – at home on my TV. I think classical music is alive and well, [and] I think it continues to show the history we have lived and the importance of our culture.

FCWS: Okay, last question, and back to the Fort Collins Wind Symphony and classical music in Northern Colorado. What does the future hold for classical music and the FCWS in this region?

Schlup: I can’t imagine a time when we’re not going to exist. It’s so fun to see that our audience is standing room only at our concerts, so the idea of classical music is alive and well in Fort Collins. I think we’re a big part of that, and I think that the education end that we’re currently pursuing is great and that whole direction of the board is just a wonderful representation of what we’re going to see in the future. 

MOTM September 2018 - Dr. Richard Mayne

Welcome to the Fort Collins Wind Symphony Blog, Musician of the Month!

In our inaugural post, we are pleased to feature Dr. Richard Mayne as our September 2018 Musician of the Month! Dr. Richard Mayne has provided many great years of service to the FCWS and has developed the organization into Northern Colorado’s premiere wind ensemble! 

In addition to his work with the FCWS, Dr. Mayne serves as the Associate Director of Bands at University of Northern Colorado, where he specializes in music education and wind band performance. Full details of his biography can be found at

To celebrate his contribution to the organization, we interviewed Dr. Richard Mayne to share his thoughts and vision for the FCWS.

FCWS: “What is your role in the symphony, in your own words?”

R Mayne: “Well, my role is to select good music that I think will connect with the audience. And to me, the audience is very important, so I’m always thinking about ‘Why are people going to want to come to this concert?’ and, ‘Are they going to enjoy it enough to want to come back?’. Especially for a community group, it’s really important to have an audience to play for.”

FCWS: “So you didn’t include the term ‘conductor’, or ‘artistic director’ or ‘musical director’, though I’m sure most of the members would describe you as that. Why did you choose to not include that in your response?”

R Mayne: “Well, I don’t know, I guess because I just assume that is part of what I do. But the reason why I do it is to get people back and build a community. So, yeah, conducting is a big part of it, but it’s not the whole thing. And I’ve done it for so long that I sort of take it for granted. I’m not out there to be the Maestro of the group and have the attention there, the whole purpose is for me to build an audience and community and have something that Fort Collins is proud of and all our members are proud of, that kind of thing.”

FCWS: “With that in mind, what sort of value does the Fort Collins Wind Symphony have for the community?”

R Mayne: “Well, that’s a good question! And, I’m not sure you can always answer that; however, when you step outside the auditorium before a concert and see a line of several hundred people and then the auditorium is full and then there’s still two or three hundred people trying to get in, that definitely says something. And it’s hard for me to articulate exactly why that’s important, but it obviously is. People want to be entertained and they want to connect through music which, as the performer Sting says, ‘Music has its own rewards’. It’s a hard thing for me to articulate in words because I don’t really know, I just know it’s true.”

FCWS: “So, we’re not a pop organization. I think we’re more of a classical wind band organization. You still think that classical music is important for people today, of all ages?”

R Mayne: “Yeah I do. Just like classical literature, classical art, classical painting, it can tell a story of history, it can connect people from different generations, from different cultures. Of course, so can current pop music. But, one is not better than the other, they are just all encompassing. And all of the stuff that we play is classical band repertoire that has stood the test of time. We do some new pieces but we play a lot of pieces that have been around for a long time.”

FCWS: “So when you prepare for a new season, or as you’re planning the repertoire for a concert, how do you balance some of the old standards for wind band versus new music?”

R Mayne: “Well, I have a hard time describing how I program, but, I’m always trying to take people on a musical journey. I’m not one that’s real big on theme concerts, because theme concerts, to me, limit what you can do, and with music you can take people on a journey so quickly and change styles so quickly and if it’s a good piece they’ll go right with you…Of course, we ask for recommendations and anytime I get a recommendation I look at it very carefully to see if it fits in the contour of the program and also if the band is going to be successful playing it. There are some pieces that for a variety of reasons may not be the best piece for the ensemble, and that’s one of the things that is my job as well, is to make [the] decision ‘Yes, we are going to be very successful with this piece’ or ‘No, we’re not’ for a lot of reasons. You may not have the right instrumentation. If a particular piece calls for a virtuoso pianist and you don’t have a virtuoso pianist then you stay away from it. But, I just like a lot of variety.”

FCWS: “Now, without taking up too much of your time, we’ll wrap it up with one final question. What should the audience be excited for this season?”

R Mayne: “I think they should be excited for everything. And they should be excited for every concert because they’re all different – every concert is going to be different. I just think every concert is going to have some really good pieces on it. Our holiday concert is going to be lighter and we’ve got some new things that I found for that concert. I actually commissioned a piece to be rearranged for the Fort Collins Wind Symphony that I heard so we’ll have that on the holiday concert. We’re going to do a piece by a former Fort Collins student, Chris Pilsner, who was at Rocky Mountain High School. We’re going to feature Shilo Stroman, a Fort Collins percussionist, and the trombone professor at UNC. So, everything!”