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Meet Ciarra Shoemaker

Ciarra Shoemaker has been playing the violin since she was 10 years old, which is natural since she comes from a family of very talented musicians. Her brother plays the cello and her mother, who often accompanies Ciarra, has been playing the piano since she was 6 years old. 

Some of Ciarra’s favorite memories growing up include her mother playing the piano around the house during the holidays. This exposure to beautiful music by her mother has inspired her to follow her musical talent throughout her life. In high school Ciarra was selected to play a solo in Avery-Fisher at the Lincoln Center and in college she played with the Penn State Philharmonic and the Penn State Chamber Orchestra where one of her favorite memories is performing at Carnegie Hall. 

When asked what she enjoys most about the Denver Pops Ciarra shared, “I love the popular music that we play and the laid back, humorous nature of the group. We always have a lot of fun at rehearsals and performances!”

Ciarra – thank you for being a part of the Denver Pops journey and our mission to serve the community through the performance of familiar music for the last 40 years.         

Want to get involved and support Ciarra and other volunteer musicians in the Denver Pops? Join us for the 40th Anniversary as a concert day staff. Concert day staff duties include set up, ticket sales/check in, ushers, partner support and clean up. Sign up today or email lara@smedleyevents.com to learn more. 

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Meet Susan Munsinger

Susan, former Board President of the Denver Pops, has been playing the violin for 15 years. Her path to the instrument didn’t start as a young musician herself, but rather she was inspired by young performers and encouraged to discover her own talent. 

When Susan was getting ready to retire from teaching 5th grade at Jeffco Public Schools she wanted to pick up an activity that would allow for her creativity to grow through this new time in her life.  Susan decided to rent a violin and accompany her students to their instrumental music class. What started as a fun experiment with her students ended in a passion for the music and a dedication to perfecting her newly discovered talent. 

Susan – thank you for being a part of the Denver Pops journey and our mission to serve the community through the performance of familiar music for the last 40 years.         

This season the Denver Pops have launched a new donor program aptly named, Friends of the Denver Pops. For $40 you can support your favorite musician or instrument and you will receive recognition in the Denver Pops concert program. Your support allows for our volunteer musicians to continue to create memorable experiences for the Denver community through familiar music. Donate today and celebrate 40 years of the Denver Pops with us!

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Meet Holly Dent

Holly has been playing the violin for 41 years and was introduced to the instrument by her father who was a music teacher, clarinet player and one of her musical inspirations. Over the years Holly excelled in her craft and was able to perform in the All-State Orchestra in high school and studied under Will Schwartz at Colorado State University. 

As a talented musician Holly finds inspiration from local performers and other musicians she plays with in various groups including the Denver Pops, Augustana Arts, and other small ensembles. 

Beyond the regular season concerts at Central Presbyterian, the Denver Pops provide other performance opportunities for its musicians. Some of Holly’s favorite performances have been with the Roy Orbison Hologram Tour and the Cirque Musica holiday shows. 

Holly joined the Denver Pops in 1996 and has served as the Assistant Concertmaster since 2003, Personnel Manager since 2007 and has had two stints on the Board of Directors (2008-2012 and 2017-present). Holly’s dedication to the Denver Pops is evident by the impact she has made on the organization and we are so lucky to have her as part of our family. 

When asked why she was a part of the Denver Pops, Holly replied, “I love the repertoire of the Pops – it’s fun music everyone can recognize, we have an amazing Director who is constantly looking for new opportunities for the orchestra, and we are a music family!”. 

Holly – thank you for being a part of the Denver Pops journey and our mission to serve the community through the performance of familiar music for the last 40 years. 

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