Student Resources

The Conservatory Student Catalog and Handbook contains the policies and procedures of the Colburn Conservatory of Music for the current academic year. Information in the Student Catalog and Handbook includes application and audition procedures, faculty bios, academic policies, courses offered for the year specified, general program requirements, and legal notices mandated by the State of California.

Changes and updates to handbook information are made on this website during the academic year, and are published in print annually. Because of this, the policies published on our website are the official policies of the school, and take precedence over the printed version. Please refer to the link above for current information.

Appealing a Decision of Probation, Suspension, or Dismissal
Students who have been placed on probation, suspended, or dismissed from the Conservatory have the right to appeal the decision by following this procedure:

1. Appeal of the action is made to the Dean of the Conservatory. Appeal of any action must be made, in writing using the Appeals Form, within 7 calendar days of the action taken.

2. The Dean appoints a review committee to hear the appeal. The three-person committee will be comprised of three members of the faculty and/or staff not directly involved in the student’s infractions leading to probation, dismissal, etc. The committee shall be chaired by the Dean.

3. The student may select a maximum of 2 advocates to speak on his/her behalf (but not as members of the review committee) at the review hearing.

4. The Dean sets the day and time of the appeal review hearing.

5. At the appeal review hearing, the Dean provides the committee with a summary of the circumstances leading to the action taken by the school. The student presents his/her case, the documentation and arguments to the committee. The committee may ask questions of the student at this time. The student’s advocates will speak at this meeting.

6. After the case has been presented, the student will be dismissed from the meeting, allowing the committee an opportunity to question the advocates if desired. The advocates will be excused after any questions by the committee.

7. The committee will then consider the case and, if necessary, may request additional information from the student or other parties.

8. The committee will make a recommendation to the Dean of an outcome. The Dean will then make a ruling in the case. Once that decision is made, the student is notified by the Dean. Every effort will be made to notify the student within 24 hours of the hearing, but in some cases more time may be needed.

9. If the outcome does not overturn the probation, dismissal, etc. the student may appeal the decision to the Provost of the School within 72 hours. The Provost’s decision in this appeal will be final.

  • I am appealing the following decision:

By submitting this form, I acknowledge the following:

  1. I have received written notice of my change of status in the Colburn Conservatory of Music.
  2. I wish to appeal the change of status noted above.
  3. I have read the Student Catalog and Handbook pages that outline the appeals process.
  4. I understand my rights and responsibilities with respect to this appeal.

Student Grievances

A grievance is a complaint that a student makes arising out of a decision or action taken by a faculty or staff member in the course of his or her official duty which, in the student’s opinion, a) is in violation of written campus policies or procedures; or b) constitutes arbitrary, capricious, or unequal application of written campus policies or procedures.

The school strongly believes that grievances should be resolved promptly. There will be no retaliation against a student for presenting a grievance, and all parties shall proceed toward resolution of the grievance in a spirit of mutual cooperation. Once decisions are made, students have the right to appeal. While the school agrees not to retaliate against a student for filing a grievance or an appeal, it is understood that students shall not file grievances or appeals frivolously, nor take the lack of retaliation as permission to abuse or harass members of the Colburn community.


  • A student who wishes to file a formal grievance shall inform the academic head(Dean/Director) of the division in which the student is enrolled (a Conservatory student who wishes to file a formal grievance must complete and submit the Student Appeals Form and supporting material to the Dean). In circumstances when the grievance involves the academic head, the supporting material (and Form, if the grievance pertains to a Conservatory student) will be submitted to the Provost.
  • The academic head, in consultation with faculty, shall review the grievance within 10 business days, meeting with all parties involved as appropriate to the complaint, and maintaining confidentiality.
  • The academic Head shall determine how to move forward depending on the nature of the grievance. When necessary, this step may include creating a special review panel. Pursuant to a resolution of the grievance, the academic head may review of documentation, witness testimony, etc., as appropriate.
  • The academic head, in consultation with the parties involved, shall make a decision as to the required action, and shall communicate the decision to the student and other parties involved.
  • If the student wishes to appeal further, he/she must appeal in writing to the Provost of the School, stating the grounds for appeal and including any further information related to the appeal.
  • The Provost’s decision shall be in writing, and will be final.


Student Rights

Students enrolled at the Colburn School have the following rights as part of the contract of their enrollment:

  • Students have the right to equal treatment, without regard for race, color, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, ethnic origin, or religious belief.
  • Students have the right to an environment free from discrimination and harassment.
  • Students have the right to expect academic and musical evaluation free from prejudice or capriciousness.
  • Students have the right to file grievances when they feel circumstances require such action.
  • Students have the right to free inquiry, expression, and association.
  • Students have the right to a secure environment at all times. The Colburn School reserves the right to withdraw the privilege of enrollment from any student whose conduct is detrimental to the academic environment or to the well-being of other students, faculty or staff members, the Colburn community, or physical facilities.
  • Students have the rights provided in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA); these include rights against improper disclosure of information, and freedom of access to their personal records.

Colburn Orchestra Policies

Rehearsal Policies

All rehearsals will begin promptly at the posted time. Tuning will begin at the posted start time and you are expected to be properly warmed-up, have your instrument prepared, and be physically ready to play at that time. You are required to be in your seat no later than eight minutes prior to the start of any rehearsal. There will be a 15-minute break beginning no later than 90 minutes into any 2.5 hour rehearsal. Please plan accordingly.


You are expected to attend all Colburn Orchestra rehearsals and concerts. When considering outside engagements, please remember that you are first and foremost a student at the Colburn School. Therefore, you are expected to treat all Colburn School activities—including the Colburn Orchestra—as your first priority. When very special opportunities arise, you should immediately check your schedule to see if these opportunities will create conflicts with the Colburn Orchestra schedule or any other Colburn commitment.

When a conflict arises:
Obtain an Absence Request Form from the Conservatory Office.

Follow the steps noted in the Absence Policy as dictated in your student handbook. Failure to follow the policy and procedure may result in an unexcused absence and subsequent consequences.

Your applied/studio teacher is your primary advisor on these matters. Do not approach any of your other teachers about potential absences before obtaining your applied teacher’s consent.

Concert Dress

  • Women: Formal concert black consisting of the following
    • Clothing may be a dress, a top and skirt, or a top and pants. Formal evening gowns in colors are not permitted, except for soloists.
      • Dresses and skirts must be black, formal, and floor length. No skirts or dresses above the ankle will be permitted.
      • Tops (dress or separate garment) must be black and have a modest neckline both front and back. Sleeve length can be from 3/4 to wrist-length. Colored, sleeveless, or short-sleeved tops are not permitted. All decoration must be black.
      • Pants must be black, formal, full-cut evening pants. Form-fitting leggings, tights, and casual pants (including black denim) are prohibited. This prohibition includes Lycra and Spandex garments of any kind, including tops, pants, skirts and dresses.
    • Shoes must be black, closed-toed dress shoes. No sandals or open-toed shoes are permitted.
    • Black hose or black dress socks are required.
  • Men: Traditional tuxedo, consisting of the following
    • Formal black tuxedo coat and trousers.
    • White shirt.
    • Black bow tie.
    • Black cummerbund.
    • Black dress shoes and black dress socks. Socks must reach above the ankle.

Orchestra Library Music Policies

Orchestra Parts
Every effort will be made to have parts for the next concert program available immediately following any given Colburn Orchestra concert. In general, parts will be ready once seating assignments are posted. You will likely be notified by email if there is any delay or any special circumstances to the contrary. When ready, original and practice parts may be obtained from the Orchestra Library during posted open hours (M–F, 10 am–6 pm).

Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp, Keyboards
Please take only the parts assigned to you. Be aware that extra parts are not available, so please take care of your music (see “Your Responsibility” below).

Players assigned to the outside chair of a stand (i.e. the one closer to the audience) may take the original part corresponding to the stand to which s/he has been assigned. Any player is welcome to take a practice copy if s/he would prefer to leave the original in the orchestra folder, to be laid out and collected by the librarian at each orchestra service.

Players assigned to the inside chair of a stand may take practice parts corresponding to their appropriate section. Practice parts may be obtained at any time until the performance day.

Orchestra Folders 
Orchestra folders (marked with school logo and instrument/stand indication) belong to the library. These are NOT to be used as your personal folders and are to remain with the library/librarian between rehearsals. Folders will be placed on your stand by a librarian 30 minutes prior to the start of any rehearsal and collected immediately following any rehearsal. They will be transported to all concert venues. By request, card stock folders are available from the Orchestra Library to help protect your parts when taken with you.

You are required to leave all parts and folders on your stand following all performances. Place your music inside the folder and close the folder at the conclusion of all rehearsals and performances. You will be held responsible for any lost, damaged or heavily marked parts.

Your Responsibility
Responsibility for your folder, the music it contains, and/or practice parts rests entirely with you without exception (i.e., if you loan the part to someone else and s/he loses it, you will be responsible for its replacement, not the other student). You will be expected to replace lost or damaged parts at the full current market value (generally $5-$15 for each piece of Colburn School-owned music and approximately $35 each for rentals).

You must ensure that your parts are present for every rehearsal, even if you are absent. For example: If you are sick or have a pre-arranged sub, you are responsible for getting your music to the rehearsal on time. Do not expect the Orchestra Library to have an extra copy of your part.

Outside String Players
If you have taken the original performance part for individual practice, it is common orchestral courtesy to return the parts to your stand/folder at least 10 minutes prior to the start of any service, so your stand partner has time to transfer any of their personal markings into the part before the rehearsal or performance begins.

All String Players
Practice parts are not required at rehearsal; however, it’s a good idea to bring them in order to make note of any markings or bowing changes.

Marking Your Part
Mark your published, “original” parts with pencil only, preferably #2, HB or softer. Do not scribble, mark with ink, highlight, tape, glue, staple, or cut parts. Practice parts may be unstapled, marked with ink, etc., but must still be returned after the concert. If you need help with difficult page turns, simply ask the librarian for assistance.

Orchestra Office and Library

The orchestra library is located in room P239 on level P2, just before the Olive Rehearsal Hall. Office Hours are Monday–Friday, 10 am to 6 pm and the library office can be reach by phone at 213-621-4539.

Music Policies

The collection housed in the Orchestra Library is non-circulating. That means that the music kept here is not available to be checked-out or borrowed for non-Colburn related performances.

However, practice parts or copies of audition excerpts can be made available for students upon request. These requests should be made in writing (email will suffice) and can take up to 3-5 days to fill. Please do not expect your request to be filled immediately. The library can only provide copies of works it has acquired. Many orchestras, summer festivals and schools are asking for excerpts from copyright protected works, but the Orchestra Library will not be able to provide these for you, due to restrictions under U.S. Copyright Law.

Copyright-Protected Works

Any orchestra that includes a copyright-protected work on their audition list should provide the required excerpt to the applicant, upon request. Often, they will only provide this material upon receipt of your full application and deposit, so be sure to submit all required documentation (and payment, if required) before you request these copies.

Mark with Pencil Only

As always, please mark your music with pencil only, preferably #2, HB or softer. Do not scribble, mark with pen, tape, glue, staple, or cut parts. Practice parts may be unstapled, marked with pen, etc., but must still be returned after use.