Coronavirus put a crimp in the Longmont Symphony Orchestra’s summer plans, but it hasn’t put a stop to all of them. The Symphony’s annual “Super Conductor” fundraiser is still a go but on an extended timeline.
Each year, candidates from the Longmont area community are nominated to compete for the Super Conductor title. This year’s contenders, who were announced at the Symphony’s Feb. 15 concert, are Denise Kloster, Craig Mansanares and Tim O’Neill. The winner was scheduled to be introduced at the July 4 concert in Thompson Park, but that show, along with most of the Symphony’s 2019-2020 season, was canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Voting, which is done via donations, was extended by a month and now closes on July 31. Each dollar donated to the Symphony equals a vote; the larger donation, the larger the number of votes for a finalist.
The candidate who collects the most votes, through monetary donations, will be declared the 2020 Super Conductor winner and will conduct the orchestra at a special concert.
Each finalist brings a different musical experience and appreciation to the competition.
Kloster is a Longmont native who grew up five minutes northeast of town in the “country,” where she was taught everything there is to know about the highly competitive world of horse showing. She played the French horn at Skyline High School, where she met her husband, Gary. Today, Denise and Gary are Team Kloster with Re/Max Traditions.
Mansanares likely was nominated for Super Conductor by someone who saw his skill at directing traffic or giving directions. He has been a Longmont police officer for 28 years, 18 of which he served as the school resource officer at Skyline High School. Mansanares, a lifelong appreciator of music, has been bringing his somewhat organized waving of arms, weird body gyrations and lack of rhythm to uninterested audiences since he first saw The Darlings on the “Andy Griffith Show” during his formative years.
O’Neill is special counsel with the Longmont law firm of Lyons Gaddis Kahn Hall Jeffers Dworak & Grant PC, which he joined in August 2017. A New York native, O’Neill came to Colorado in 2003 by way of Wisconsin and Texas, and moved to Longmont in 2007. A musician in his past, O’Neill still likes to pick up instruments of all kinds, whenever possible. He plays guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, piano, saw and just about anything else he can get his hands on, for his wife, Krystin, and three daughters.
Learn more about the contest and cast votes/make donations by visiting longmontsymphony.org.