Steamboat's Teri Rose fills holiday season with musical and artistic endeavors

Harpist Teri Rose is a choir director, Steamboat Symphony Orchestra player and ski instructor in the Yampa Valley.

— Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wanted to play the harp. It was her childhood dream.

It all started when she was taken to see her father play with the Roswell Symphony.

A young Teri Rose was seated such that, in order to see her father play the trombone, she had to look through the harpist’s strings the whole time. She soon became mesmerized, watching the harpist’s beautiful hands on the instrument.

“I remember watching the beauty of the instrument and her lovely hands and fingers in motion,” a now grown-up Teri Rose said.

Back to the fourth grade: Upon arriving home from her symphonic epiphany, she immediately asked her parents if she could take harp lessons. But there was no one to teach and no harp to be had for a 9-year-old girl.

Although Rose went on to study and become accomplished as a flutist, pianist and choir director, she didn’t lay eyes on another harp up close until she was 23 years old.

Rose was at a church in Waco, Texas, searching for an extra music stand when she saw a beautiful, large harp. It was inside the janitor’s closet.

When she received permission to take it, the fulfillment of her childhood dream had begun. Rose took lessons and gave her first performance three months later. She also started playing the harp for weddings. Her interest and talent grew, and Rose was accepted in the master’s program for harp performance at Baylor University.

The rest is history.

Fast-forward to when Rose and her husband, Steve, moved to Steamboat. Ever since they arrived about three years ago, Rose’s days have been filled with playing the harp and flute (she also has a degree in flute performance) as well as directing two choirs. Rose has played with the symphonies of Colorado Springs, Waco and New Mexico. She also has toured and recorded with the U.S. Air force Academy Band, has played with the Denver Ballet and now is a regular with the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra.

She also teaches flute, piano and skiing. That’s right — this talented classical musician also can be found on the slopes of Mount Werner each winter using yet another one of her gifts. In addition, Rose is an accomplished painter and has had her vibrant watercolors on display at MountainBrew.

She humbly says that she’s just “making life work in Steamboat.”

Needless to say, the holidays are a time when Rose’s multitasking skills are put to the test. She leads her church choir at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church weekly and will be planning special Christmas music for the regular congregation and seasonal visitors.

She also is the musical director for the Steamboat Chamber Singers, which next performs as part of the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Concert on Dec. 1 and 2. They will be accompanying the orchestra on two special numbers: the “Polar Express Suite” and “Gloria in Excelsis.”

Rose will have to switch hats during this concert, as she also is seated in the orchestra, playing second flute with Schubert’s “Unfinished Symphony” and a host of holiday favorites (including the annual singalong).

When asked which musical instruments she loves the most, Rose looks a bit like a parent being asked to choose her favorite child.

The flute, she says, is “like singing,” similar to using her voice to express herself. The piano takes her back to her childhood and the “raw love of music” that she first realized within. But it’s the harp, with its “physicality to play it and the tactile vibrations” that transcends.

“Playing the harp becomes a part of you,” Rose said.

So does realizing a little girl’s dream.

Pattie Moon is a Steamboat Springs resident who is actively involved with the orchestra and an avid appreciator of the arts.

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