Classical music was never a part of Lori and Dave Shevenell’s repertoire until they attended their first classical concert with the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra two years ago, but they’ve rarely missed a performance since.
Lori, a legal assistant for the City of Thornton, relocated with her husband from New York three-and-a-half years ago to be closer to three of their five grandchildren. As luck would have it, Lori’s former supervisor, DPO President, Jon Olafson, tuned her on to the orchestra.
“Neither one of us had ever been to an orchestra concert before. For me, this was all brand new,” Lori says.
While attending so many concerts may seem like work, it has become a tradition that Lori and Dave have come to enjoy, “We try to make ‘em all,” she says. Early work hours for Dave, who works as a civilian plumber at the Denver VA Hospital, are sometimes the cause for having to leave as soon as the concert ends, yet the couple indulges in the array of pre-concert activities; their favorite is the photo booth from the last season’s concert, From Russia, With Love.
To keep each concert fresh, the couple sits in a new place to get a different perspective. They especially enjoy sitting up-close. “I like to watch the musicians play their instruments. You can see their facial expressions. They are very animated,” Lori says.
Although the couple does not play instruments, they come from families who loved dancing. For Lori’s family, Sundays meant polka dancing at the town hall in her hometown of Beaverton, Michigan, while on the east coast, Dave’s parents went square dancing on Fridays in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. “I had a huge family. We had our own party anytime someone got married,” Lori says.
At the age of 6, her first dance lessons were standing on the tops of her Dad’s shoes as he moved around the dance floor. “That’s how far back I can remember music,” says Lori. When her Dad grew tired, she’d switch to her uncle’s feet and go back and forth between the two all night.
While live classical music is new for the couple, Lori and Dave consider themselves music lovers; their latest concerts include Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.
One of the perks of going to so many orchestra concerts is listening to all the various instruments. Lori has honed in on the oboe as her favorite, however, she desires to play another instrument, “I’ve always wanted to play the drums myself, but am I ever going to? Probably not,” Lori jokes.
Dave, who favors percussion, loves the xylophone and timpani. “I like a good guitar player too,” Dave says. Aptly so, two of Dave’s favorite musicians are Santana and Keith Urban.
Lori and Dave have fine-tuned their taste in classical music. Lori likes modern classical music, Dave prefers turn-of-the-century classical. Growing up, Dave remembers watching Arthur Fiedler direct the Boston Pops on PBS. “I liked watching him conduct,” says Dave.
Their favorite part of the concert is the concerts notes, which gives them a better understanding of the music and the story that’s being told. Dave enjoys learning “where the composer was and what he was thinking and what influences them,” he says.
On their off time, the couple enjoys golf, improving the backyard of their newly purchased house, camping, and reading a good book from their in-home library.
For now, Lori and Dave will continue to attend every concert. “There’s always something new to keep us coming back,” says Lori.
Top & First: Lori & Dave at Garden of The Gods
Second: Lori & Dave hamming it up at From Russia With Love in our James Bond themed Valentine’s Day photo booth.
Last: Lori & Dave!
All photos taken in 2015