Colburn School and Violinist Ray Chen to Host Inaugural TonicCon, Uniting Global Tonic App Music Community In-Person for the First Time

LOS ANGELES (Monday, July 8, 2024) – The Colburn School, in partnership with violinist and entrepreneur Ray Chen, will host TonicCon on October 10 & 11, 2024, the first ever in-person event bringing together musicians of all levels who have formed a vibrant virtual community on the Tonic app. Launched by Ray Chen, and cofounder Rose Xi in February 2023, the Tonic app was designed to foster connection and community, transforming the often solitary experience of practicing an instrument.

TonicCon is a cross between a concert and convention, with two days of events where attendees can sign up to perform, casually mingle and play music together, and attend masterclasses and panels featuring Colburn faculty and guest artists, highlighting the breadth of the School’s educational programs.

“The idea for the Tonic app was born during the pandemic when people had an immense desire to connect,” said Ray Chen. “At its core, music is meant to be shared, and being part of a community makes the practice experience more enjoyable, keeps you motivated, and reminds you of your purpose. It even helps with practice anxiety. Tonic was created for the 99%, opening up the world of classical music for everyone who wants to explore and learn, at any level.”

This sense of community and commitment to accessibility is a shared value between Tonic and the Colburn School, which both support musicians of all levels of development. Colburn’s Community School of Performing Arts welcomes individuals of all ages—from seven months to adults—who are passionate and curious about music. The Music Academy prepares pre-collegiate musicians for conservatory study and professional careers, while the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute nurtures dancers of all levels, from beginners in Youth Dance to aspiring professionals in the Dance Academy. The Conservatory of Music prepares the very highest level of collegiate musicians to excel in their professional careers.

“Rarely do we see something thrive online and blossom even more in person,” said Sel Kardan. “There’s a place for everyone at both Tonic and Colburn, whether you’re aiming for the pinnacle or pursuing personal growth. We are excited to host the inaugural TonicCon, and unite the Colburn School community with the inspiring Tonic community that Ray has fostered.”

Ray Chen, and Tonic app cofounder Rose Xi, have long standing connections with Colburn School. Ray has shared a close bond with Robert Lipsett, Colburn School’s Violin Faculty and Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Violin Chair, for nearly two decades. Reflecting on their connection, Ray said, “In 2006, during the Encore School for Strings’ summer camp, I first experienced the profound sense of community that musicians can create together. Mr. Lipsett welcomed his students like family, and I immediately wanted to be a part of it. Almost a year later, I gathered the courage to perform for Mr. Lipsett, and he graciously welcomed me into his studio. The rest, as they say, is history.”

Earlier this year, Ray partnered with Colburn School for his Kennedy Violins Challenge, where 100 violins were given away as part of a fun competition hosted at the school and on the Tonic app, challenging participants to outplay Ray on the violin. Rose studied piano at Colburn’s Community School of Performing Arts from 2008 – 2011, and her brother Anthony played violin in the Colburn Orchestra from 2014-2018.

TonicCon attendees will be coming from all around the globe, from Europe, Asia, the U.S. and more.

“The decision to hold the inaugural TonicCon at Colburn School was clear, given the deep history and personal connection that Rose and I have with the institution. And Los Angeles offers an unparalleled cultural scene,” said Ray. “In a sense, TonicCon is about giving back—building on the supportive community that has bolstered my career and now extending that sense of community to others.”

Registration and tickets

  • Please download the Tonic app for priority access to purchase tickets. Users who sign up for Tonic and are actively practicing and supporting others will get first access to TonicCon tickets when they are released on July 29.
  • General public tickets are on sale August 9.
  • Ticket prices start at $45 for single day participation, and up to $225 for 2-day Diamond Tier packages, that includes tickets to the evening concerts, early entry to events, early access to masterclasses and open classes, and exclusive merchandise.

Please visit for more information.

About Ray Chen

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Twitter/IG/TikTok/YouTube/FB: @raychenviolin

About Tonic

In 2020, Ray began working on a project close to his heart. Being involved in and passionate about the development of young musicians, he observed that practice—despite being an essential element of study—was the biggest obstacle in the journey to success. Through his own experience, he found that the best motivators for regular music practice were supportive friends and peers who could relate to and encourage the musician. Ray founded Tonic to address that need, for the benefit of the music community.

Tonic is an innovative music practice platform designed to make classical music accessible, connected and fun for a global community of musicians and learners. Focused on improving the detached experience of practice, Tonic motivates people on their musical journey and gives access to allow everyone to enjoy the best parts of being a musician: to play & share.

In the Tonic app, users can open live Studios for their practice sessions and play for a supportive audience of peers. Users set their own schedule, keep track of practice time to stay on track for their goals and earn Badges and other rewards for their efforts. Tonic also offers community events such as Challenges and Leagues which are supported by partnerships with established brands in the music industry. Social features such as Groups and Studio invitations help users build and maintain deeper friendships through the app.

Tonic began in 2020 as a pandemic passion project, but has since had over 1 million live Studios created. Users in over 130 countries love the platform and contribute to its community with creativity and openness. Built by music lovers for music lovers, it is a home and a haven for those who want to see the joy of music come alive through community.


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About The Colburn School

A performing arts institution located in the heart of Los Angeles, the Colburn School trains students from beginners to those about to embark on professional careers. The academic units of the School provide a complete spectrum of music and dance education united by a single philosophy: that all who desire to study music or dance should have access to top-level instruction.

  • The diploma- and degree-granting Conservatory of Music is distinguished by a unique all-scholarship model, renowned faculty, and outstanding performance opportunities. It prepares the very highest level of collegiate musicians for professional careers.
  • The Music Academy is a highly selective training program for gifted young pre-collegiate musicians, designed to prepare students for conservatory study and performing careers at the highest levels of achievement. This program offers residential options and balances performance, musical instruction, and academics.
  • The Community School of Performing Arts welcomes students of all ages, from seven months old to adults. It offers over 120 classes each year in orchestral instruments, piano, guitar, voice, jazz, music theory, drama, and ensembles including orchestra, choir, and chamber music.
  • The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute develops performers of all levels, from aspiring professionals in the Dance Academy to beginners starting in Youth Dance. Students of all levels receive training in ballet, tap, musical theater, and modern genres as part of a comprehensive dance education.
  • Created to serve all units of the School, the Center for Innovation and Community Impact empowers the musical and dance leaders of tomorrow by nurturing students’ passion and ability to serve their communities, preparing them for sustainable careers, and embracing the development of new ideas. The Center embodies Colburn’s commitment to developing young artists with the curiosity, skills, and commitment to make a difference in their field.

Each year, more than 2,000 students from around the world come to Colburn to benefit from the renowned faculty, exceptional facilities, and focus on excellence that unites the community.

The Colburn Center, designed by Frank Gehry, is a multi-faceted campus expansion of the Colburn School. Located across the street from the School’s existing campus at the intersection of Olive and Second Streets, the Colburn Center will enable the School to expand its mission of presenting programs for the public. Gehry’s design includes a 1,000-seat in-the-round concert hall named Terri and Jerry Kohl Hall, five professional-sized dance studios including a 100-seat studio theater, and gardens that bring fresh air and green spaces to the downtown landscape. The Colburn School broke ground on the Colburn Center on April 5, 2024. The completed project will join Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Grand complex to create the largest concentration of buildings designed by the architect in the world.

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Instagram and Twitter: @ColburnSchool