The Colburn School has been continuously monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and acting in the best interest of our community. On March 11, the School announced the suspension of all in-person instruction, performances, and events on campus as well as the closure of the residential facilities. Although this decision was made in the best interest of the health and safety of the community, the administration was aware that this would be disruptive to the students on campus and immediately developed a plan to support the student body during this transition.
With support from our board of directors, meal, travel, and housing stipends were distributed to students who needed to move out of the dorms and were facing extraordinary financial hardship. Conservatory pianists, percussionists, and harpists who were away from their instruments were matched with private instruments in homes in Los Angeles, rental studios, and other creative practice options. For students with smaller instruments who also needed to be reunited, Colburn shipped their instruments home. Our staff offered advice and support to students with international visas and began planning alterations to the course schedule for 2020–21 to ensure they can return within the current student immigration laws.
Our compassionate and concerned community also reached out during this transition. Our Advancement team received calls from several of our generous, long-standing Colburn supporters who offered rooms and in some cases their pianos to help provide temporary respites and practice facilities for students who could not immediately go home.
In full, Colburn supporters hosted nine students for periods of three days to a few weeks. When possible, students were paired by instrument so they could continue to collaborate and play together, and pianists were matched with donors who had pianos available. At this time, three students continue to remain with hosts. These volunteer hosts have been extremely accommodating, allowing students to remain until the students were able to return home safely. Colburn is approaching this time of uncertainty with as much flexibility as we are able, while continuing to keep an eye on the safety of our students long-term.
While housed with a host, the Conservatory and Advancement offices have kept daily contact with students through email and chat groups. Students have shared stories and photos, and the Advancement team has kept closely in touch with hosts throughout.
Colburn has an incredible community of support. At a time when students needed safe havens and an opportunity to continue their education, the community came together to enable this to happen. A huge thank you to our volunteer hosts who made it possible for our students who continue their musical endeavors during this challenging time.
For further information and updates, please visit colburnschool.edu/coronavirus.