orchestral conducting

The University of Colorado Boulder College of Music is pleased to offer our annual orchestral conducting symposium. Hosted on the beautiful CU Boulder campus, this symposium is designed for the aspiring conductor and will focus on conducting technique and movement, rehearsal strategies, professional development, artistic growth, score study and repertoire. The CU Orchestral Conducting Symposium is hosted in conjunction with the CU Wind Band Conducting Symposium. This joint venture allows for several combined sessions with all conducting participants.

Summer 2021 update:

We are actively working with campus officials and within campus, county, and state policies to ensure we can offer a safe, high-quality symposium experience this summer!  With the immense amount of planning and approvals involved, this means that our registration opening has been delayed.  Please check back soon for more information and when you can expect registration to open!

Below is what we had planned for 2020.  We’ll be sure to update this page with any 2021-specific changes prior to 2021 registration opening.


Guest clinician: Larry Livingston
Conducting Department Chair, University of Southern California Thornton

CU Clinician: Gary Lewis
Director of Orchestral Studies, University of Colorado Boulder


Two levels of participation are available:

Conductor ($650): 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 afternoon large ensemble sessions.

Housing and 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 $415 per person includes 5 nights, 13 meals, and all applicable taxes.  You can also extend your stay one or two nights at the same low rate.

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 8 meals for approximately $100.  

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 or call 303-492-5151. On-campus housing and dining registration closes 15 days prior to the symposium, so don't wait!


Conductors will be asked to provide a résumé/CV and a brief conducting video as part of the registration process.

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

Refund Policy

Refunds will be processed on the card used to make the payment through the registration portal. Prior to April 30, refund is in full excluding the non-refundable $200 deposit. No refunds will be issued for cancellations May 1 or thereafter.  On-campus housing and dining has a separate refund policy; please see their website for details.

Tuition Credit

You may take the course for optional tuition credit through the University of Colorado Division of Continuing Education. The course will be offered as Independent Study Music, 5018.

Tentative 2020 schedule

Sunday, June 7
4:30-5:30 p.m. - Dinner (included in on-campus resident meal plans)
5:30-6 p.m. - Registration – CU Boulder College of Music (Southeast lobby)
6 p.m. - Opening Session in Grusin

Monday, June 8
9 a.m. - Conducting Session 1 (String Orchestra Repertoire)
10:30 a.m. - Break
Noon - Lunch
1:30-3 p.m. - Discussion
3 p.m. - Break
3:30 p.m. - Clinic
6 p.m. - Dinner reception for all participants - provided by the CU College of Music

Tuesday, June 9
9 a.m. - Conducting Session 2 (String Orchestra Repertoire)
10:30 a.m. - Break
Noon - Lunch
1:30-4:30 p.m. - Conducting Session 3 (with winds)   
4:30 p.m. - Wrap up

Wednesday, June 10
9 a.m. - Conducting Session 4 (String Orchestra Repertoire)
10:30 a.m. - Break
Noon - Lunch
1:30-4:30 p.m. - Conducting Session 5 (String Orchestra Repertoire)
4:30 p.m. - Wrap up

Thursday, June 11
9 a.m. - Conducting Session 6 (String Orchestra Repertoire)
10:30 a.m. - Break
Noon - Lunch
1:30-4:30 p.m. - Conducting Session 7 (with winds)   
4:30 p.m. - Wrap up

Friday, June 12
9 a.m. - Conducting Session 8 (String Orchestra Repertoire) 
Noon - Workshop concludes

2020 Repertoire is TBD. 2019 Repertoire:

Please prepare two contrasting string works and one full orchestra selection.

String Orchestra 

Grieg: Holberg Suite

  1. Prelude
  2. Sarabande
  3. Gavotte-Musette
  4. Air
  5. Rigaudon

Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings

  1. Beg-C
  2. Beg-C
  3. All

Dvořák: Serenade for Strings, Op. 22

     1. Moderato
     2. Tempo di Valse (beg. - G)
     4. Larghetto

Vaughan-Williams - Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis             

      Beginning - 4 after E
      N - 4 after T
      W - end

Barber: Adagio for Strings

Works with Winds

Mozart: Symphony No. 38, “Prague”

      1. Introduction and Exposition
      2. Beg - m.57

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, mvt. 1

Contact Information

For inquiries regarding the Orchestral Conducting Symposium, please contact Ensembles Assistant Laura Graham at:
301 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0301