GSA and the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra of Colorado

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1st movement - "Orogenies" or “mountain building,” musically depicts the upheaval and birth of western North America’s crust, seen today in such places as Royal Gorge.

2nd movement - "Rush!" is a fast and furious exploration of human history in relation to the geology of the American West, particularly the gold rushes of the 19th century.

3rd movement - "Requiems" returns to a slower and quieter pace, harkening back to the formation of fossil fuels in ancient oceans and coastal swamps.

4th movement - "Majesties" is the climax of the piece, defined by the iconic formations of the modern Rocky Mountains.

It's 'rock music' of a different kind!

The Geological Society of America and the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra have co-commissioned Symphony No. 1: Formations honoring GSA's 125th anniversary year. The new symphonic work by composer Jeffrey Nytch, director of the Entrepreneurship Center for Music at the University of Colorado, Boulder, College of Music, was made possible through generous support received from ExxonMobil Corporation.

Scroll down for more info and press.

The world premiere of Formations kicked off the Boulder Philharmonic's season on 8 September 2013 at Macky Auditorium on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. The work represents one component of the Philharmonic's six-concert season themed "Nature and Music: The Spirit of Boulder."

Formations was performed for GSA members and guests at the 125th Anniversary Gala in the History Colorado Center in Denver on 29 October, during the Society’s 125th Annual Meeting & Exposition.

Nytch holds a geology degree from Franklin & Marshall College and counts geology as a passion secondary only to his musical career. His work is in four movements inspired by the impressive geology of the Rocky Mountain region.

More Information & Press Coverage:
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  1. “Inspired by the earth” (Boulder Weekly - 5 Sept.)
  2. “Interview: Jeffrey Nytch” (Boulder Weekly - 4 Sept.)
  3. “Boulder Philharmonic feels rock solid about geology tie” ([Boulder] Daily Camera - 30 Aug.)
  4. “Composer of deep time” (Nature - 29 Aug.)
  5. Listen to the interview of Michael Butterman on KGNU's 'Classic Monday' with Ron Nadel, 8/12/13

    Opening Night section:
  6. Joint GSA/BPOC Press Release
  7. Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
  8. Jeffrey Nytch's Facebook page

Gala Goers


Group of scientists who attended the anniversary gala at the 2013 GSA Annual Meeting in Denver (29 Oct.).

Top row: Jon Price, Brian Skinner, George Davis, John Geissman, Gary Ernst. Front row: Judy Totman Parrish, Sharon Mosher, Jean Bahr, Hap McSween, Suzanne Mahlburg Kay, Eldridge Moores. Click on image to enlarge.