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.

We are now accepting applications for Spring 2024 Bands and Choirs – Apply Now!

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, Coltman 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 experienced in jazz studies. Various styles of jazz repertoire are explored and learned aurally along with discussion of theory and approaches to improvisation. This ensemble is a great opportunity to grow individually and as a cohesive unit in an encouraging, challenging environment. All instruments, including strings and vocalists, are welcome. 

Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
Liz Kinnon all ages 09/03 - 12/10 Su 12:30 pm - 02:45 pm $515.00
Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
Liz Kinnon all ages 09/03 - 12/10 Su 03:15 pm - 05:30 pm $515.00

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, 2023

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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 advanced repertoire. Featured composers often include Corelli, Handel, Mozart, Holst, and Richard Meyer.

Age minimum: 6th grade; 11 years old by September 1, 2023

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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 13yr - 18yr 08/27 - 05/12 Su 03:00 pm - 05:45 pm $1650.00

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 six 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 08/21 - 12/17 Su 00:00 - 00:00 $289.00
The Cello Choir will focus on developing music reading and ensemble playing skills. The class will be taught by Carlyn Kessler.
Age minimum: 4th grade; must be 9 years old by September 1, 2023

We’re excited to announce a new ensemble opportunity for young, advanced violinists! Led by Aimée Kreston, 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, develop ensemble skills, hone advanced techniques, and give powerful musical performances.

Open to violinists ages 6–12
Suzuki Book 5 or higher
Recommendation from private instructor
Video pre-screening and live audition required

For intermediate and advanced students. Please contact the instructor, Ryan Baird, at rbaird@colburnschool.edu for spring schedule and approval to enroll.

Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
D.M.A. Baird all ages 08/27 - 05/12 Su Varied $988.00

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

Instructor Ages Dates Days Times Fees
Kenton Youngstrom all ages 08/26 - 05/11 Sa 04:00 pm - 04:55 pm $1190.00

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.

Designed for both Suzuki and traditional violin students, this course will give an introduction into the early stages of sight reading 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).

All new and returning students must audition for placement.


Weekly on Wednesdays, 6:00 – 6:45 pm


Participants must study privately and are required to have finished Joanne Martin, I Can Read Music, Volume 1 prior to audition. No previous orchestral experience is necessary.

Minimum Age Requirement

3rd grade; must be eight years old by September 1, 2023

Recommended Minimum Level of Playing

Dvořák Humoresque (Suzuki Vol. 3)

Audition Information

In-person auditions for the 2023–2024 academic year will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023. Upon completion of the application form, a link will be provided to schedule an audition time. 

Audition Requirements

Please be prepared to demonstrate:

  1. Any 2 or 3 octave scale of your choice. The scale should be memorized and played slurred, 2 quarter notes per bow at a moderate tempo. (Quarter note = 72)
  2. A polished solo piece. Choose 2 to 3 minutes that represent your technical skill and musicianship. Recommended minimum level of playing is Dvořák Humoresque (Suzuki Vol. 3)
  3. Sight Reading. A series of sight reading examples will be presented at your audition.

Audition results will be sent via email by midnight on July 1.


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, 4:15–6:45 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, 1:30–4 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: 6-10 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: 10-14 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: 14-20 years

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