Curtis Fiore ’07 takes CRMS lessons into music and retail career

by Tim O'Keefe

Hometown: Carbondale, Colorado
Currently Residing In: Carbondale, Colorado
Education: Fort Lewis College
Occupation: Retail General Manager/Musician

What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
Working as a General Manager, I am humbled to watch my team grow as employees and as humans. Teamwork is everything. As a musician, that one is easy, I love watching our fans dance!

How did CRMS play a role in your professional, personal, or community life?
Professionally, working in the Roaring Fork Valley, you very quickly create strong connections with your customers/fans. It is important to me to consistently work hard and maintain that status and continue to build connections with the community. Our community is good to us if you’re good to it! The ole’ saying “work hard, play hard”; that’s real! Personally, my family (wife and 1 kid) have bills to pay!

How has your experience at CRMS influenced what you are doing now?
I came to CRMS during my Sophomore year of high school. During my freshman year, I attended a school in Illinois with a class of more than 1,000 students. It was pretty cut and dry how I was educated there. You open up your books, read the material, hope you remember it all, then spill it out on a test. At CRMS, I was sent out into the world and was able to apply everything from the classroom to real-life situations. I took a lot away from the Statistics class. A distinct memory was trying to find a new truck for campus and juxtaposing gas mileage, pricing, etc. I’ve used that knowledge, in my adult life, more than I would like to admit, personally, but it has helped me to take that knowledge and use it for my business. The music program had a huge impact on me. I had music classes, previous to CRMS, learning the basics but the teachers at CRMS introduced theory, improv, originality, and how to work together as a band. Some of the first songs I ever wrote were in the Barn on campus and then recorded during a songwriting interim. That week absolutely changed the course of my life and led me to the Bluegrass band I write songs and play guitar for “Elk Range.”

What advice would you give current CRMS students?
Try something new!

What’s been a highlight since graduating? The number one highlight is getting married and having a child. There is so much joy in introducing your kid to new experiences and watching him learn the world. Next up, I would say touring around with my band, “Elk Range”. We hit a lot of bucket list venues in the past couple of years. It is an exciting time for us as a band, whom I also call family.

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