Published: Nov. 12, 2019 By

From the Boulder vibe to the performance opportunities, there are a number of reasons to call CU Boulder your home while earning your degree in music. Current student Curtis Sellers lays out his top 10 reasons to study music at CU Boulder.

Curtis Sellers and his good dog

  1. If you’re not from Colorado, take advantage of all the local trails while you can, because come early October they may be covered in snow. Being from the Midwest, the mountain views here are incredible to me, especially from the top looking down. Some great trails are less than two miles from campus.
  2. Go to the Farmer’s Market. One of the most beautiful parts of Boulder is the small business community. Every Saturday morning and afternoon, you can try yummy samples, buy fresh produce, find creative homemade products and have some of the best food truck meals Boulder has to offer. Every vendor there is kind and welcoming.
  3. Check out Pearl Street! While it can be quite expensive, there are stores for just about everything there. Some of my favorite shops include Boulder Book Store, Rocket Fizz, Pizza Colóre, Sock Em’ and Kilwins, just to name a few.
  4. Every time you walk outside, you will be blessed by the incredible views of the Flatirons. Any sunrise or sunset, you are in for a beauty that words don’t do justice.
  5. Even though you will also be performing a lot, try to find inspirational performances to attend. At CU, there are concerts happening pretty much every day. Between recitals, Faculty Tuesdays, ensemble concerts, the CU Presents Artist Series and Colorado Symphony concerts down in Denver, there are plenty of opportunities to find a new source of musical inspiration.
  6. If you want to get involved in different sorts of ensembles, there are a plethora of different options! For every area of music, you can find an ensemble of non-majors. In addition, there are a variety of World Music ensembles to join.
  7. One great opportunity I got to be a part of is the Pendulum New Music concert series. Every month, music performance majors get to work with faculty and student composers on their works, old and new. There is a great relationship in that composers get to see their work realized and students get to perform a new, challenging work! Sometimes, as in my case, students get to play with instrumentalists they would never imagined working with. In the past, I got to work with a harpist, flutist and violist, and I will soon be on a piece with oboe and percussion.
  8. Summer music festivals: Do them! They open you up to working with new colleagues and professors in new venues playing new rep. While potentially intimidating at first, many will be life-changing and push you to new musical heights.
  9. I would highly recommend joining student organizations and clubs! If you’re looking for something music-related, a few groups are Kappa Kappa Psi (a co-ed band service fraternity that I am a part of), NAfME (music education organization), Mu Phi Epsilon (a co-ed international professional music fraternity), CMSG (College of Music Student Government), ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) and ASTA (American String Teachers Association).
  10. In addition, there are plenty of on-campus music-related jobs. I would recommend looking into the CU Presents Box Office/Marketing positions and Music Ambassadors (another group I’m a part of in which we give prospective students tours, participate in panel discussions and help with audition days).

I hope this has helped give you an idea of how incredible CU is. I urge you to do yourself a favor and “Be Boulder.” ‘Sko Buffs!

Curtis Sellers is a junior oboe performance major at the College of Music. He hails from the St. Louis area and is studying with Peter Cooper.