There will be no full orchestra filling Walk Festival Hall this summer.

Grand Teton Music Festival’s leadership announced Wednesday that its 59th summer season will be canceled. Although the full orchestra will not perform as usual, a smaller group of musicians will gather to record and film “Music from the Mountains,” a three-concert series in Walk Festival Hall. The series will be streamed live online on Aug. 21, 22 and 23.

Festival leadership long weighed the risks of hosting the summer event against the positive impact that the festival has on the community.

“It is with very heavy hearts that the board has made this decision, as we know how much the community of Jackson Hole loves our music festival,” board co-chairs Barbara McCelvey and John Costello wrote in a press release. “However, our first responsibility is to ensure the health and safety of our audiences, musicians, guest artists, staff, and the people of Teton County — and canceling the in-person festival is, sadly, the only way to do that.”

The festival is joined by many other music events across the country in announcing summer cancellations. Grand Targhee Resort also announced Wednesday that Targhee Fest and the Targhee Bluegrass Festival will be canceled for summer 2020.

In a press release, Donald Runnicles, Grand Teton Music Festival’s music director, stressed the importance of making music during times of crisis, saying, “May ‘Music from the Mountains’ inspire us through the great repertoire of past and present, reaffirming the profound bond of humanity that prevails even through the hardest of times.”

In addition to the concert videos, the project will include a series of online resources about music history that will be available to high schools across Wyoming. Like many other orchestras and event planners, the Grand Teton Music Festival is finding ways to go virtual.

Contact Johanna Love at 732-7071 or

(1) comment

Geneva Chong

This makes me sad for what my family and I will miss so much, but it also makes me proud and thankful for people making the right decision. We will listen however we can and send the money we would have donated for the free, family concerts. Thank you. Stay well.

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