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To provide an opportunity for area musicians to perform major works of choral and instrumental classical music for the cultural enrichment of the community. Examples of such music include, but are not limited to, oratorios, masses, symphonies, concertos, overtures. Participation is open to any singer or instrumentalist who wishes to perform and has a commitment to the necessary rehearsals.


The Oratorio Society of Estes Park (OSEP) along with the Estes Park Chamber Orchestra, was organized in December 1987 by Connie and Gary Elting and by Merritt and Laura Martin. Its first appearance was for a sing-along session of Handel’s Messiah. On November 27,1988 OSEP presented Handel’s Messiah to the public at Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies under the direction of Gary Elting. Rich Kohl conducted the Easter portions of Messiah at OSEP’s March 19,1989 performance. Thereafter, the following conductors have introduced and led this organization of both amateur and professional musicians to successfully perform a large variety of major classical works for chorus and orchestra:

Rich Kohl, 1989

Gary Elting, 1988 and 1990 – 1994

Marjorie Monroe-Fischer, 1995 – 2000

Claudia Irwin, 2001 – 2011

Kathryn Bowers, 2012 – 2018

Robert Howard, 2019 –present

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