Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Stowe – Virtual Summer Festival Tour

We love closing out our Summer Festival Tour in the Meadow at Trapp Family Lodge. Presented by our friends at Stowe Performing Arts, this concert is special to us for its huge, enthusiastic crowd—nearby cows included. We wish we were performing for you in person at this beautiful venue, but are happy to share some fun and music with you in the meantime. Until next year, Stowe!



Alan Parshley, horn: In the mid-1980’s, at one of the Stowe concerts, there was a surprise guest soloist. At that venue the mountains provide a spectacular backdrop, and there are cows in the meadow directly behind the tent. On this particular night, the orchestra was performing Rossini’s William Tell Overture. The English horn has a beautiful solo in the pastoral introduction. During a tiny breath in between phrases in the solo, a perfectly-timed responsorial “MOO” came from a member of the herd out back, audible to everyone there. It was a magical moment that sent everyone home with a smile.

Dieuwke Davydov, cello: After one of our Stowe concerts, some other musicians and I were driving back to Middlebury in Hilary Hatch’s car. Suddenly we saw a massive moose standing next to the road a little way ahead. Knowing how these animals step in front of your car at the last moment, Hilary started to brake right away, and by the time we reached the beast she was going about 5 miles an hour. That’s when he stepped forward. We hit his spindly matchstick legs and his body went up on the hood and slid back down. There we were, late at night, alone in the mountains, a wounded moose in front of the wheels, without phone reception, not daring to get out of the car. Then… he got up and walked calmly across the road and disappeared in the woods. We were all fine, but Hilary’s car had a dented radiator grate with lots of moose hair in it.

Eleanor Long, Orchestra Manager: I love the fact that since Stowe is almost always the last concert of our tour, it’s a chance to give a shout-out to all our amazing production teams: Atomic Pro Audio (lights, sound, and staging), Avalon Weddings Tents & Events (the tent and heaters), our crew (all the orchestra gear), and Northstar (the fireworks). When we’re finally done…Trapp Lager all around!

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.


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.

This concert would not be the success that it is without Stowe Performing Arts, a local organization dedicated to bringing performances and enriching opportunities to the Stowe area. Here’s a message from Executive Director Lynn Paparella, our longtime collaborator.


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).

Thanks for joining us on our Virtual Summer Festival Tour, and have a good summer!