We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyla Witt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyla, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
How talented our musicians are.
Colorado has been widely overlooked as a growing hub of world-class musicians. Each of our performers has earned multiple degrees in music from prestigious universities across the world, and also has countless years of experience working within the industry. As a business, Red Rock Strings would not thrive without the contributions of these exceptional artists.
The diversity of each of our musicians is also more than I can describe. Each performer is a true artist in every way. Beyond our ensemble performances, RRS musicians stem their perfectionism and high standards into their own niches such as performing as solo artists, orchestral work, composition, session recording, and more. Further, our performers are also top educators across the Front Range teaching various styles of music to all levels of students. It’s hard to convey just how impressive it is to see these musicians excel individually and then bring that excellence together while collaborating as a string quartet.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When most people think of a string quartet, they think of simple background entertainment at a wedding or private party. To us, it’s much more than that. Unless you’re a performer, it isn’t easy to recognize that each event, with different groups of people, has a wildly different atmosphere that takes some creative, musical finesse to tailor to the energy of the room. That is an art in itself of which we have mastered.
Red Rocks Strings has experience from small, private parties to intimate weddings to high-profile concerts with established bands (hello, Elephant Revival!) to headlining acts at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (that’s you, Kygo!). We love adding to the ambience of the event, and believe that should never be an afterthought. Our expansive list of available music, ability to learn new music on the spot, and the fact that we are more than willing to customize and arrange music on demand, shows how important this is to us. Without a doubt, we value confidentiality, professional artistry, musical flexibility, and creative openness to make for a truly unique event.
Many people may also think a string quartet plays strictly Classical music like Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn. While we absolutely adore these composers, we actually play TONS of modern cross-over songs and can literally play any song a client desires. We’ve had requests from Bach to the Beatles to Radiohead. You name it, we make it happen!
Beyond live entertainment, another true passion of RRS is creating and bringing new forms of music to the next level. We engage with composers (including our own!) and other unique artists regularly to bring incredible music to life. From recording sessions to album releases, we love to be involved every step of the way.
Being able to perform at our level was no easy feat. Thousands of hours of individual practice from a young age to performing in recitals to taking high-end auditions (I always say the odds of winning a top audition are similar to that of a great basketball player getting into the NBA) to finally establishing oneself in an incredibly competitive world takes the utmost dedication, discipline, and perseverance. I am so fortunate to work with the most passionate, relentless, and inspiring musicians of them all.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Grab a morning latte at Blue Sparrow (try their chai, it’s heavenly, and look for me and my pup!)
Have brunch at Lucille’s Creole Cafe.
Attend a Colorado Symphony concert at Boettcher Hall.
See a live show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (our favorite performance venue EVER!)
Grab a drink at Odell or Great Terrain Brewery (love the dog friendly patio!)
Stand in line at Little Man Ice Cream – totally worth it.
Any rooftop bar in LoDo. ANY.
Adventure to Boulder. Stop at Chautauqua Park, the Dushanbe Teahouse, climb Mount Sanitas (tell me if you break my 25 min record going up!).
Head to Colorado Springs for the day. Visit Garden of the Gods. Climb Manitou Incline with a watermelon to win a prize at the end…
Stop at Stems Cider anytime. It’s ok if you come in your hiking clothes #colorado
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
An older, wise couple from the small town of Whitehall, Michigan, who introduced me to music straight out of the womb. They also encouraged and taught me many life lessons (where there’s a will, there’s a way!) that allowed me to pursue a career in what I am most passionate about. Their names are Frank and Mari Witt (aka my wonderful parents).
…all those music lessons were no waste, Daddio and Homz!
All of our group images were taken by the lovely Carissa Cannizzaro. Check out her incredible work here: https://www.instagram.com/carissamariephotography/