11:32am

Mon August 5, 2013
Colorado Wonders

A Cello Concert On Longs Peak? That's So Colorado

Of the eighty-eight fourteeners found in the U.S., fifty-three of them are in Colorado. Just how many of them have hosted a classical performance at their peak though?

As far as we know? Just one. Gal Faganel, a University of Northern Colorado Assistant Professor did just that, carrying his beloved cello to the top of Longs Peak then breaking into song.

It’s pretty amazing.

This summer as a cello teacher at the Rocky Ridge Music Center, just south of Estes Park, Faganel wanted to hike and climb during his time away from teaching. The center is around a half mile from the Longs Peak trailhead.

Faganel set a personal goal to hike the 14,259 feet of Longs Peak, his first 14'er, by the end of the summer. The decision to bring his cello and play a 45 minute sunrise concert? That idea came just a week before the ascent.

Colleagues and his wife said he was crazy. However, on July 22nd, he packed up his Italian cello, and set out from the Longs Peak Ranger Station at 2:30 a.m. along with Jenny Shea, a violinist and graduate student at the University of Colorado. There's more to see from the climb as well, Faganel has posted the Ashokan Farewell and a Dvořák cello concerto as separate performances.

Check out our extended interview with Faganel:

Nathan Heffel speaks with UNC Professor Gal Faganel

For more on how the pair hiked up Longs Peak check out the Huffington post.