Orchestral conducting


Hosted on our beautiful campus, the annual CU Boulder Orchestral Conducting Symposium is designed for the aspiring conductor, focusing on conducting technique and movement, rehearsal strategies, professional development, artistic growth, score study and repertoire.

What is the participant experience like?

From Jeffery Meyer, Professor of Music in orchestral conducting, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music:

“What a fantastic week at the CU Boulder conducting symposium! Without exception, every one of the conductors had significant breakthroughs—it was a joy to teach and learn with them alongside the masterful Gary Lewis, who is a true treasure at CU Boulder College of Music.” 

June 9-14, 2024


Guest clinician
Donald Schleicher, Artist-in-Residence + Director of Orchestras, Bienen School of Music

CU Boulder clinician
Gary Lewis, Director of Orchestral Studies


Two levels of participation are available:

Conductor ($750): The conducting participant will conduct in the morning sessions and receive mentoring from the clinicians, as well as participate in the afternoon seminars and lectures. Conducting participants will have the opportunity to conduct works for chamber winds and full ensemble, with over an hour of podium time throughout the week. Only 20 conductors will be accepted, and the positions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Cost includes instruction and clinician resource material. Housing, parking, transportation and tuition credit are not included. Prerequisite: Bachelor's degree in music and/or music education. All participants should bring their primary instrument and perform in the large ensemble sessions.

Auditor ($100 for one day, $400 for the whole week)
Auditors are welcome to register to attend on a prorated daily basis!
 Only able to drop by for a couple of days out of the week? This option is for you! The auditor will observe all morning and afternoon sessions. This level of participation is designed for the conducting student seeking to develop, refine, and hone their conducting technique.

Undergraduate students are welcome as auditors. There are an unlimited number of spots available for auditors. Cost includes observation of all conducting sessions, lectures and seminars. Housing, parking, transportation and tuition credit are not included. Auditors are welcome to bring their primary instrument and perform in the large ensemble sessions.


Conductors should select two movements from the string orchestra repertoire and one from the “works with winds” list.

String orchestra repertoire:

  • Grieg—Holberg Suite
  1. Prelude
  2. Sarabande
  3. Gavotte-Musette
  4. Air
  5. Rigaudon
  • Tchaikovsky—Serenade for Strings
  1. Beginning–C
  2. Beginning–C
  3. All
  • Dvorak—Serenade for Strings, op. 22
  1. Moderato
  2. Tempo di Valse (beginning–G)
  3. Larghetto
  • Vaughan-Williams—Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis         
  1. Beginning–4 after E
  2. N –4 after T
  3. W–end
  • Walker—Lyric for Strings

Works with winds:

  • Mozart—Symphony No. 38 “Prague”
  1. Introduction and exposition
  2. Beginning–m. 57
  • Beethoven—Symphony No. 5, movement 1

Housing + meals

We are able to offer you a cost-effective solution for housing and meals this summer! Stay on the beautiful campus of the University of Colorado Boulder at a rate lower than you will find anywhere else in the region during peak tourist season. Your meal plan included in this package will give you access to a wide variety of food options, including diverse dietary accommodations at the Center for Community on campus. All of these accommodations are a short walk from Imig Music Building, making your on-campus stay the most convenient and the most cost-effective way to attend the symposium.


Approximately $465 per person includes 5 nights, 14 meals and all applicable taxes. You may also extend your stay by one night on either end of the main lodging and dining package for an additional cost.

Already got your lodging, but still looking for an on-campus meal plan? No problem!
You can purchase a lunch-and-dinner meal plan as well. This meal package includes 9 meals for approximately $116.  

The link to reserve your on-campus lodging and meal plan will be included in your confirmation email once you’re registered for the symposium.

Questions regarding housing and dining? Contact Conference Services at conferences@colorado.edu, 303-492-5151. On-campus housing and dining registration closes May 22.


Conductors will be asked to submit a brief conducting video as part of the registration process.

Register for the 2023 Orchestral Conducting Symposium
Registration will open Jan. 20, 2023 at 11 a.m. MST. 

A deposit of $200 (or full tuition amount, if less than $200) is required upon registration. This deposit is non-refundable, unless conductor is asked by CU Boulder faculty to defer participation. Prior to May 31, refund is in full excluding the non-refundable $200 deposit. Payment in full is due by May 31. 

Conducting Symposium on campus lodging and dining

Refund policy

All refunds will be processed on the card used to make the payment through the registration portal. Prior to May 31, refund is in full excluding the non-refundable $200 deposit. Payment in full is due by May 31. No refunds will be issued for cancellations June 1 or thereafter. 

Note: On-campus housing and dining has a separate refund policy.

Tuition credit

For an additional fee, conductors may take the course for optional tuition credit through University of Colorado Boulder Continuing Education. The course will be offered as Independent Study Music 5018. 

Tuition credit registration instructions

2023 schedule + repertoire

COVID-19 protocols 


Questions? Contact Ensembles Program Coordinator Rachelle Crowell at rachelle.crowell@colorado.edu, 303-492-6584.