The Boulder Philharmonic’s Discovery Concerts take students in grades 3-6 on a journey to explore orchestral music in a fun, interactive format featuring nationally-acclaimed Music Director Michael Butterman. Students attend a 50-minute performance during the school day designed to support and coordinate with their core curriculum.

Previous Discovery Concerts have linked architecture with music and presented how music can lend itself to narrative, showed how music can express both positive and negative emotions, and linked music and visual art to help make music’s abstract nature more tangible and understandable. Teachers are provided curriculum guides, lesson plans and a Spotify Playlist of repertoire to help prepare their students for the experience. Many students also receive a visit from Michael Butterman or one of our chamber ensembles in preparation for the concert. Our goal is to inspire students to begin instrumental study through the public schools, which studies show lead to improved academic performance in other areas as well.

This season’s Discovery Concerts will be held online in April 2021. Contact Sara Parkinson for more information: 

Discovery Concert 2020 ‘Imagine! Stories & Music’

Our program designed for students in grades 3-6 will explore the relationship between literature and music. Students will learn how composers represent characters, settings, and plots through their music. Featuring orchestral works by Grieg, Smetena, Rimsky-Korsakov, Berlioz and local composer, Leanna Kirchoff. Members of the orchestra and the audience will come together to create a story in this interactive program at Macky Auditorium.

The cost per student to attend the concert is $6, teachers and chaperones attend free of charge. Schools are responsible for arranging transportation. Scholarships are available. This 50-minute concert is the culmination of our Discovery Program, which includes a listening and bilingual curriculum guide for teachers and optional add-ons such as 45-minute in-school visits with a chamber music ensemble or ‘Meet the Maestro’ with Michael Butterman.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 – 2 concerts at 10 AM & 11:30 AM

Friday, February 21, 2020 – 2 concerts at 10 AM & 11:30 AM


Check out our Teacher Guide and Spotify and Youtube Playlists: 


What teachers are saying about the Discovery Concert…

“I had the pleasure of taking our 3rd to 6th graders to this years’ 
Discovery Concert and the children loved it!”

“You have a real gem in Maestro Butterman. His knowledge of music and 
ability to hold students’ attention is phenomenal.”

“The themes and arrangements were perfect for the students. 
We can’t thank you enough for putting together such a wonderful program.”

“We are always impressed with the performance. Thank you!” 

Add an In-School Visit

Hosting a Boulder Phil Brass Quintet or String Quartet during the fall semester at your school brings instrumental music alive for your students! This “up-close and personal” experience highlights instrument families, composers and plenty of time for student questions. We also offer in-school engagements with Maestro Butterman.

Students attend the Discovery Concert for just $6, and teachers and chaperones attend free of charge. All curriculum materials are included with registration, and schools are responsible for transportation arrangements. Scholarships are available.

Questions? Call Sara Parkinson at 303.443.9203 or email

The Discovery Program is generously supported by the Sei Solo Foundation, Ellie & Harry Poehllman, and SCFD funding. Thank you to our supporters!