This is just a sampling of some of the amazing talent that comes through the gates of Chautauqua each summer! If YOU are an alumni would like to be featured in one of our upcoming newsletters and online, please contact

 Interviews by Sage Snider and Jennifer Barczak


Colton Sayre, Michigan State University


MSFO (Flute) 2013, 2014, 2015

Why did you decide to come back to CHQ?

My two summers at Chautauqua have been filled with some of the most musically gratifying experiences of my career thus far. The level of talent at the festival, combined with all of the opportunities to perform and collaborate with fellow students and friends is absolutely outstanding. Because of all these things, and many more, I have decided to return to Chautauqua for my third summer knowing that the summer holds many more experiences and friends. 

What was your most memorable experience from summer 2014?

My most memorable experience from 2014 was during the last concert of the festival, sitting on stage, playing Mahler's Fifth symphony. During the last movement I started to reflect back on my entire summer and how much I had grown as a musician and how many friends I had made, and the best part was that we were all sharing the stage one last time to create such wonderful music! The experience was incredibly emotional and moving. I could not have been happier. 

Where are you at currently in your career and how has CHQ influenced it?

I am currently working toward my Doctor of Musical Arts at Michigan State University where I study with Richard Sherman. Also I am currently an extra for the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, and an active soloist in the nearby areas. Chautauqua has influenced my career by helping me strive to be the best musician and person that I can possibly be. Chautauqua has always set the example that a good musician is also an equally good person, and that one must strive to be as kind, compassionate, and caring as they can possibly be. 

What advice would you give to a new, incoming student?

My only advice would be to allow yourself to be engulfed entirely by all of Chautauqua. There is something happening every minute of every day. Go check out something new!