About OTHA

All funds raised through festivals and donations go toward supporting our music education programming for children.

off-the-hook-artsFour years ago, we launched a music education program dedicated to creating life-long creative thinkers, cultural advocates and appreciators of the arts through the study of, exposure to and performance of chamber music, for youth and their communities regardless of their financial access. A free to students and schools music mentoring program, PYCh In-School enriches the orchestra experience and music programs in our newly expanded membership of five Poudre School District Schools in Fort Collins, CO (Lesher, Lincoln, Preston Middle Schools, Ridgeview Classical Charter and Laurel Elementary Schools). We’ve even grown to include band members and pianists.

In order to fund and gain awareness about the need for music education of the next generations of music makers and audiences, we began a professional summer classical music festival, Off the Hook Arts. This festival of world class touring chamber musicians. innovative thinkers and speakers, our immensely talented local Colorado musicians and teachers are all joined and headed by our co-artistic director, composer Bruce Adolphe.

Our program needed more depth and impact and thus we began a low cost, sliding fee scale AfterSchool Chamber Music program for Northern Colorado based music students, welcoming not just young, achieving string players but homeschoolers, woodwind players and pianists. In the summer we added a five day Arts Workshop bringing a wide variety of Arts and music to young musicians (8 – 18) and 5 – 10 year olds who are just ‘Music Explorers.’

After the electric and highly successful Fourth Season of our 2015 summer festival, we re-examined who we are. A broader scope was starting to emerge and it needed definition, recognition. Our mission had come to include….building a diverse collaborative culture of the Arts and Sciences, for the Northern Colorado communities.

As we sweep into the fourth year of our educational programming and Fifth Season of our summer festival, SummerFest, we regroup and rename: Off the Hook Arts, at the intersection of music and ideas. We welcome you to continue on this diverse and innovative path with us — of exploring outside of what you expect in a classical chamber music event; taking part in Symposiums on how the Sciences logical interaction interlace with the Arts; welcoming a new musical style you’ve never understood or tried before; or participating in a workshop for all members of the family combining STEM and the Arts. True to our name, we encourage the eclectic, unique collaborations and give you the freedom to escape the normal path you take everyday, to explore a new experience.


Off the Hook Arts is based on a unique program launched in 1991 by Austin-based Salon Concerts founder and former artistic director Robert Rudie, called CHAMPS (Chamber Music in Public Schools). CHAMPS now works with up to 60 young musicians annually in eleven schools. Participants represent diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds as well as varying levels of musical skill.

jephta-bernstein-othaJephta Bernstein became CHAMPS Director in 2008. During her tenure, emphasis on under-served schools and building community through music grew, with an expansion of participating schools, an extensive outreach program, a Master Class Series, and growing collaboration with the Miro Quartet and the University of Texas Graduate String Quartet Program.

Relocating in 2011 to Fort Collins, Colorado, Ms. Bernstein continues this revolutionary program format of providing cost-free, intensive chamber music to students who might otherwise have limited access to one–on-one musical instruction and never before experienced the musical expression that chamber music provides. The PYCH Pilot Program began in February 2012. We continue our program, in steady growth, at schools such as TR Paul Arts and Knowledge Charter, Ridgeview Classical Charter and Laurel Elementary Schools.