Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Burke – Summer Festival Tour

We have a strong tradition of concerts in the Northeast Kingdom thanks to our loyal audiences and devoted North Country Friends of the VSO, and were excited to make our Summer Festival Tour debut at Burke Mountain Resort this summer. In lieu of an evening outdoors with all of you and Burke’s beautiful mountain views, here is a little fun and music to enjoy wherever you are. See you next year, Burke!



Memories and messages

Eleanor Long, Orchestra Manager: We love playing at ski areas and look forward to a wonderful collaboration next year with our new friends at Burke Mountain Resort. In past years we have played at Jay Peak, Sugarbush, Okemo, Ascutney, and Stratton. I remember at Jay Peak they let the orchestra musicians go up in the gondola. At Ascutney, the trick was to keep the audience’s attention as they watched the hang gliders.

Many of our musicians have their own tour traditions and favorite places to visit while traveling the state. Click here for an interactive map of Second Trumpet Greg Smith’s favorite cycling routes, and here for a map of Principal Horn Shelagh Abate’s go-to tour stops.






Conductor Julian Pellicano was slated to make his VSO debut on this year’s Summer Festival Tour. Here’s a message to you all from Julian, who we look forward to welcoming to Vermont on next summer’s tour!


Thank you

Today we want to spotlight and thank several of the unsung heroes who help make our Summer Festival Tour concerts possible.

Technical Director Colin Fletcher and the VSO Crew: From set up to breakdown, Colin and the crew work tirelessly throughout the tour to make sure the venue is ready to host crowds and that concerts run smoothly. Their quick problem-solving skills and their hard work are integral to the tour. Thank you, Crew!


Fairbanks Museum’s “Eye on the Sky Guys”: Yes, your “Eye on the Sky Guys” help the VSO make our dreaded rain call and are ready for a weather consultation daily on the tour. We are grateful to the team at the Fairbanks Museum who help do our best to keep our audiences dry.

Ralph Thomas & Karl Brosch: You might know them as the “Merch Guys,” but we know them as steadfast volunteers on whom we can count to manage our merch table throughout the tour. (And they always have a bag of ice when we need it!) Ralph and Karl are always friendly and positive and help us keep that community feel to the VSO. We’ll miss Ralph’s crazy hair and Santa accessories this year, but rest assured he’ll be back next year with something fun! Here’s a message from Ralph and Karl from their home in Sunderland, Vermont.



Host Families: Where do you house 40+ musicians on a statewide tour? With amazingly generous host families! These volunteers provide housing to our musicians who are in need of a place to stay while in town. Some have developed long-lasting relationships with their musicians, keeping in touch with them throughout the year. We are grateful to our host families who help keep our costs down by donating their space and adding a unique aspect to the VSO which our musicians truly cherish.

Volunteers: We couldn’t have a tour without our amazing concert volunteers who direct traffic before and after the show, hand out programs, take tickets, and help out wherever else they can. We miss seeing the smiling faces of our volunteers this year but are looking forward to seeing them on tour next year.


Sponsors, Vendors, and Community Partners

Tour Sponsors and Partners

We are so grateful for our tour sponsors and partners who help make our tour possible year after year.

Thank you also to the individuals who help to make our concerts possible.


Community Partners

We are thrilled to be collaborating with Burke Mountain Resort, though we have to wait until next year to perform there. In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of the resort’s spectacular view from the Burke team!


Our dedicated volunteer group, the North Country Friends of the VSO, supports our efforts in the Northeast Kingdom through fundraising, volunteering at concerts, and more. Here’s a message from our North Country Friends Co-Chair, Sally Rivard.


Music and more

We always open our Summer Festival Tour concerts with The Star Spangled Banner, so three of our musicians recorded a creative tribute on oboe and English horn. Here’s Graham Powning’s “Variations on The Star Spangled Banner.”


No fireworks show would be complete without Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. When the pandemic upended this year’s tour, VSO musicians decided to record each of their parts in their own homes, so that they could still perform together—and share a musical moment with all of our extended VSO family. Please enjoy the intro courtesy of our cello section, and the finale with the full orchestra.


As the fireworks continue, it’s our tradition to play a variety of Sousa marches. Here’s The Stars and Stripes Forever, from five VSO violas.


And, in lieu of a visit to Vermont this summer, our trombone section has donned their concert attire to take care of business at home.


Looking for more music? We’ve made a playlist with some favorite pieces from past Summer Festival Tour programs (on Spotify below and YouTube here).

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday week. Feel free to join us virtually for each stop on our tour—tomorrow we’re showcasing Manchester!