One-on-one lessons with our talented teachers offer students invaluable learning opportunities, but the chance to play with peers provides another dimension to music education. Ensembles allow students to hear how they contribute to a group and build collaborative skills. The Community School supports various ensemble classes.

Still accepting auditions for the instruments listed below:

  • Advanced Orchestras: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Viola, Double Bass, and Percussion
  • Concert Band and Wind Ensemble: Oboe, Bassoon, Trombone, Tuba, and Percussion
  • Youth Chorus and Concert Choir: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass

Audition information for 2023-24 will be available in March 2023.

Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute

Weekly group classes and small ensembles enable students new to the Chamber Music Institute to concentrate on fine-tuning specific skills. Our experienced faculty hold personalized coaching lessons, master classes, as well as group instruction. Smaller ensembles display their accomplishments through various performances, not the least of which is an end-of-the-year recital.

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The Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute offers one of the most comprehensive and intense pre-college level chamber music learning experiences of any music school in North America. Accepted students attend weekly coaching sessions with our esteemed faculty.

Ensembles also participate in chamber music competitions. Previous groups have garnered numerous accolades, including from the Fischoff Competition, Coleman Chamber Music Competition, M-Prize, Pasadena Chamber Music Competition, and the Young Artists Peninsula Music Festival.

Ensembles have appeared on the nationally broadcast From the Top show on the Public Radio International as well as annually on LACMA’s Sundays Live. Students frequently perform in Colburn’s Friday Night Recital series, School Recitals, Honors Recitals, and local schools through the Colburn Musical Encounter program. The year culminates in the Chamber Music Recitals in Colburn’s Thayer Hall.

The Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute also supports the Honors Chamber Music Scholarship program. This is awarded through an audition process to students who demonstrate a high level of skill.

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Jazz Groups

The Community School has several instrumental ensembles, including small combos and a Big Band, devoted to the performance of jazz repertoire and the development of the students’ musical concepts, improvisations, and compositions.

All instruments (including stringed instruments) are welcome in these ensembles. Groups perform and record each semester, and rehearsal and performance attendance is mandatory.

A number of Colburn Jazz Workshop groups have advanced to the finals of the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, where they have garnered a several group and individual student awards. Students have also been honored in the DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards, The Music Center’s Spotlight Competition, and by the National YoungArts Foundation. Past master class clinicians include Wynton Marsalis, Eric Reed, Joe LaBarbera, Reggie Thomas, and John Clayton.

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Colburn’s Adult Jazz Workshops consist of musicians who are proficient on their instruments and have some experience in jazz studies. We will explore the jazz genre through active listening, discussion, and application of specific elements of jazz performance. All group members are encouraged to contribute to exchange of ideas and apply concepts by recording themselves to share with the class. New students welcome, please contact instructor Liz Kinnon for more information at ekinnon@colburnschool.edu

Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
Liz Kinnon 18yr - 99yr 01/22 - 04/30 Su 12:30 pm - 02:30 pm $498.00
Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
Liz Kinnon 18yr - 99yr 01/22 - 04/30 Su 03:00 pm - 05:00 pm $498.00

Large Ensembles and Orchestras

The String Ensemble is made up of about 30 violins, violas, cellos, and double basses. Students in the ensemble will focus on development of orchestral performance techniques, musicianship, sight-reading, and ensemble skills. Repertoire is in the intermediate range.

Age minimum: 5th grade; 10 years old by September 1

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The String Orchestra is made up of about 30 violins, violas, cellos, and double basses. Musicians in the String Orchestra have achieved a level of intermediate or advanced musicianship and can tackle the challenge of a more intricate repertoire. Featured composers often include Corelli, Handel, Mozart, Holst, and Richard Meyer.

Age minimum: 6th grade; 11 years old by September 1

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Colburn Youth Orchestra is the largest advanced ensemble of the Community School, performing regularly throughout the year. This is a full symphonic orchestra with strings, winds, brass, and percussion. The Colburn Youth Orchestra is conducted by Maxim Eshkenazy, who also directs the Colburn Chamber Orchestra and the Colburn Sinfonietta.

Age requirements: 13–18

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Colburn Chamber Orchestra is a small ensemble for advanced strings conducted by Maxim Eshkenazy, who also leads the Colburn Youth Orchestra and the Colburn Sinfonietta. The orchestra regularly appears on LACMA’s Sundays Live, broadcast on KUSC 91.5 FM.

Age requirements: 13–18

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Smaller than the Colburn Youth Orchestra, the Colburn Sinfonietta performs works by composers like Beethoven and Haydn regularly throughout the year. Performances feature student and faculty soloists.

Students in the Sinfonietta get the experience of working together in a small orchestral setting, playing Classical repertoire, and building musicianship and orchestral expertise.

Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
Maxim Eshkenazy all ages 08/28 - 05/14 Su 03:15 pm - 06:00 pm $1295.00

Small Ensembles and Workshops

Adult group classes are semester based and will be held eight times for 60 minutes each per fall and spring semester, and five times in summer. Actual meeting dates to be arranged with Ms. Lundgren. Please contact klundgren@colburnschool.edu for approval to enroll. 

Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
Karen Lundgren all ages 01/22 - 05/14 Su 00:00 - 00:00 $278.00

The Cello Choir will focus on developing music reading and ensemble playing skills. The class will be taught by Carey Beth Hockett, who is well known for her innovative and dynamic work with student groups. 

– Minimum age: 9 years old as of 9/1/2022.
– Teacher recommendation.
– Demonstrate playing level or Webster, Scherzo (Suzuki Cello Book 3) or equivalent
– Ability to read basic rhythms in 1st position keys

All rehearsals are mandatory. Students will be allowed two excused absences per semester. Any student who misses more than two classes, or fails to notify the director that they will be absent, may be dropped from the Cello Choir.

If you are interested in the possibility of joining the 2022-23 Colburn Cello Choir, please fill out this application form by August 20th. 

For more information and approval to enroll please contact chockett@colburnschool.edu

Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
Carey Beth Hockett 9yr - 14yr 09/07 - 05/10 We 07:00 pm - 07:50 pm $1012.00

Led by Dr. Can Canbolat and Michael McLean, the Colburn Fiddles on Fire! will rehearse and perform a wide range of exciting repertoire, both traditional and non-traditional. Students will have a fun and challenging musical experience, developing ensemble skills and enriching our community with inspiring and powerful musical performances.

Open to violinists ages 5-13
Suzuki Book 4 and above
Recommendation from private instructor

For intermediate and advanced students. Please contact dyoung@colburnschool.edu for spring schedule and approval to enroll.

Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
D.M.A. Young all ages 08/28 - 05/14 Su 09:00 am - 10:30 am $950.00

Contact Kenton Youngstrom for permission to enroll at kyoungstrom@colburnschool.edu 

Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
Kenton Youngstrom 9yr - 99yr 08/27 - 05/13 Sa 04:00 pm - 04:55 pm $573.00

For students Grade 6-8 with at least one year of private instruction or comparable experience. This class is an opportunity for percussion students to enhance and expand upon their existing percussion studies in a fun and collaborative environment. Activities will include percussion chamber music, solo performing, accessory instrument techniques and an introduction to peak performance methods. Each semester will culminate in a concert of chamber and solo works.


Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
Kenneth McGrath all ages 09/18 - 05/21 Sa 11:00 am - 12:00 pm $770.00

Taught by Harvey Pittel, this ensemble is for intermediate to advanced saxophone students. Students will be placed according to their level of musicianship and experience.

Interested students should submit an inquiry form.

Audition for placement and private teacher’s approval are required.

Designed for both Suzuki and traditional violin students, this course will give an introduction into the early stages of sight reading, violin theory, and musicianship as well as a general overview of the basics of orchestra skills (learning proper violin posture when seated with a music stand and how to read and mark a music score). There will be several small group projects in addition to basic composition exercises.   

All new and returning students must audition for placement. Private teacher’s approval is required. For audition information, please visit colburnschool.edu/ensembles

Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
Michael McLean all ages 08/24 - 05/10 We 06:00 pm - 06:40 pm $926.00


Concert Band is an ensemble designed for middle school wind and percussion students who demonstrate playing ability at the intermediate level. No previous band experience is required. This ensemble emphasizes music reading and ensemble skills.

Rehearsals: Saturdays, 3–5:30 pm

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Wind Ensemble is intended for high school intermediate through advanced level wind and percussion students. Repertoire includes original and arranged works for winds. This ensemble emphasizes music reading and ensemble skills.

Saturdays, 6–8:30 pm

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This ensemble introduces young singers to choral singing. The group will focus on fundamentals of singing, solfeggio, listening, and basic music theory concepts. The ensemble rehearses weekly and performs on one major concert per semester.

Age requirement: 5-10 years

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This ensemble prepares students for the Colburn Concert Choir and is ideal for youth who enjoy singing and exploring music with a supportive group of peers. Students will explore the fundamentals of singing, breathing, sight-reading, and solfeggio, and will rehearse and perform diverse choral repertoire. The ensemble rehearses weekly and performs on one major concert per semester.

Age requirement: 10-13 years

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The Colburn Concert Choir is the highest-level choral ensemble offered. Students will be challenged with advanced choral repertoire that spans multiple genres. Additionally, students will develop their sight reading, ear training, and music theory knowledge. The ensemble rehearses weekly and performs on one major concert per semester.

Age requirement: 12-18 years

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