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Rafting piano, floating opera ... here are musical river trips.

Some people revel in the sophisticated cultural offerings of cities; others prefer the unadorned simplicity of nature. Fortunately, those who appreciate both don't have to decide between them when making vacation plans this summer. Several rafting trips offered on rivers throughout the West combine the refined elegance of classical music with the rough-andtumble appeal of whitewater.

During the day, you float downriver in an oar boat or paddle your own raft or inflatable kayak. You might get drowsy basking in the sun on gentle stretches, but exhilarating rapids soon bounce and splash you awake. Reaching camp in late afternoon, you pitch your tent, change into dry clothes, and relax against a pine tree or canyon wall with a glass of wine just as a string quartet strikes up a Mozart sonata, or a soprano with piano accompaniment embarks on a Verdi aria.

Musicians are acclaimed professionals on some trips, accomplished amateurs on others. Trips range in duration from I to 14 days, and in price from $75 to $1,545, meals included. Most of the rivers run on these trips are designated class 3, so they shouldn't be too intimidating for adventurous novice rafters. Unless otherwise specified, outfitters use a combination of oar boats, paddle rafts, and inflatable kayaks.

Besides clothes and other personal items, you'll need to bring along a sleeping bag and a tent or tarp (some outfitters rent camping gear).

Take in a floating opera . . . Tag-A-Long Expeditions, 452 N. Main St., Moab, Utah 84532; (800) 453-3292. In Utah's Canyonlands National Park, a pianist accompanies bass Jerome Hines of the Metropolitan Opera and other distinguished singers for concerts both in a pocket canyon off the Colorado River and on a floating stage in the river itself.

You can opt either for a one-day, oneconcert excursion on a jet boat (September 9 or 10, $75) or a four-day, twoconcert trip through Cataract Canyon on a catamaran-like raft equipped with a motor that's used mainly in rapids (September 10 through 13, $640; with additional two-day jeep safari, $970).

. . . some fancy fretwork . . . A.R. LA., Star Route 73, Groveland, Calif. 95321; (800) 323-2782. Classical guitarist David Tannenbaum plays for guests on a four-day Green River trip through Dinosaur National Monument's Ladore Canyon, in Utah (August 19 through 22; $385 adults, $310 ages 7 through 17).

. . . or riverside chamber music

Dvora'k's Kayak and Rafting Expeditions, 17921 U.S. Highway 285, Nathrop, Colo. 81236; (800) 824-3795. A trio composed of a violinist, a cellist, and a flutist from the Los Angeles Philharmonic joins an eight-day trip through Desolation and Gray canyons along Utah's Green River (July 29 through August 5; $1,400 cost includes flight to launch site from town of Green River, Utah, or Grand Junction, Colorado).

ECHO. The Wilderness Company, 6529 Telegraph Ave., Oakland 94609; (800) 652-3246. A string quartet rafts along with guests on a six-day trip down the remote Salmon River in Idaho (July 29 through August 3; $825). Oregon's hospitable Rogue River is the setting for a four-day trip with a string trio (July 12 through 15; $479).

Moki Mac River Expeditions, Box 21242, Salt Lake City 84121; (800) 2847280. A string quartet provides the sound track for a hair-raising, 14-day oarpowered boat trip (shorter hike-out or hike-in options are available) through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado in Arizona. This year's trip is already booked, but you can inquire about cancellations or reserve for next year. (With round-trip shuttle from Las Vegas, cost is $1,545 for 14 days, $1,035 for 9, $845 for 6; without shuttle, $1,435, $975, $795.)
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Article Type:Directory
Date:Jul 1, 1989
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