February 1 2005, 3:08 PM
I'm all about new experiences. So of course I bought my ticket and volunteered to help out at the first CSO On Tap brewery concert last night. This was the inaugural event for the Colorado Symphony Orchestra's new young patron group, newly named UnStrung. The idea is to introduce orchestral music to new audiences, raise funds for CSO, and create fun, unusual events to appeal to a young and casual crowd. I'm pretty sure that setting up a French horn quartet inside the Flying Dog Brewery -- smack dab in the middle of the brewtanks, no less -- qualifies as unusual. The event sold out in advance (only 100 tickets were available due to the small space), and over $2500 was raised for CSO. It seemed to go off without a hitch, and I think the men in the crowd particularly dug the microbrewery tour; kudos to Eric, the tour guide for Flying Dog, for making the brewing process not just interesting but extremely funny as well. Ditto for the Stranahan's Colorado whiskey distillery tour. (I'm almost certain that one of the CSO musicians has his eye on buying up one of the small 2-gallon barrels of the first round of whiskey for his collection. He had that gleam in his eye during the tastings. ) Overall, it was a very cool event, and entirely different from any other symphony performance that any of us had ever seen before. Next up for UnStrung is a more traditional event- the "Culture Crawl" combines wine tastings, art gallery tours, and symphony performances through the evening - date is TBA toward the end of February. And if you missed out on CSO On Tap, the success of the first event ensures an encore later this spring.