Aspen Music Festival And School

Enrolled Student Information

The information below will help enrolled students prepare for their summer in Aspen. This page will be updated regularly as policies and procedures are confirmed.

The Aspen Music Festival and School is committed to following the most recent and accurate guidelines from the CDC, the state of Colorado, and Pitkin County. As a result, our policies and procedures are subject to change.

 

Table of Contents

 

Arrival Procedures

The AMFS is currently working with our medical team to determine the safest process for student arrivals. This will include a combination of testing, staggered check-ins, and possible quarantine. In order to facilitate this process, arrivals will be staggered. Students will be assigned an arrival date within the range listed below. Assigned arrival dates have been sent to students via email and can be referenced on their AMFS Status Page. 

 

Important Dates

Arrival Dates
Full Session Wednesday, June 23 – Thursday, June 24 (as assigned)
Half Session I (ABQS) Wednesday, June 23 – Thursday, June 24 (as assigned)
Center for Advanced Quartet Studies Thursday, July 1
Half Session II (Classical Guitar) Monday, July 26

 

Departure Dates
Full Session Monday, August 23 by 12 pm                                                
Half Session I (ABQS) Sunday, July 25 by 12 pm
Center for Advanced Quartet Studies Monday, August 2
Half Session II (Classical Guitar) Monday, August 23 by 12 pm

 

COVID-19 General Precautions

The AMFS is committed to the safety of its students, staff, faculty, artists, and patrons. Protocols are being established to comply with all rules and best practices of both the CDC and Pitkin County. The success of our plans rely on the continued commitment from all constituencies to comply with our COVID protocols.

A complete document of our COVID-19 policies will be available for all students May 1. You will be asked to sign an agreement to these policies upon registration. The guidelines listed below are in development and subject to change. 

Masks

  • Masks are required on school and festival grounds at all times – this includes the Music School campus, Meadows campus, Burlingame housing facility, and Marolt Ranch housing facility.
  • Masks are required for all AMFS activities off AMFS property.
  • Masking rules specific to rehearsals, performances, lessons, master classes, and vocal music will be outlined in more detail when available. 
  • Masks are required outside as well as inside.
  • AMFS will have both reusable and disposable masks available to students, but you are asked to bring your own as well.
  • Masks must meet the following requirements.
    Masks should:
    • Not be buffs or bandanas.
    • Be clean and in good repair.
    • Fit snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face.
    • Be secure.
    • Be positioned so that there is no need to adjust or otherwise touch the face frequently.
    • Include multiple layers of fabric.
    • Allow for breathing without restriction.
    • Cover both nose and mouth.

 

Symptom Tracking and Contact Tracing

  • Everyone will be required to fill out an online symptom tracker each day via an app on your phone.
  • This will include a daily temperature check. Thermometers will be provided in each dorm room.
  • Symptom Trackers must be completed by 8 am each day
  • Anyone who has not completed a tracker will not be allowed on the property.
  • This app will also use Bluetooth technology for contract tracing. If you have been exposed to someone with a positive COVID test you will be notified immediately.

 

Testing Before and Upon Arrival

  • Everyone will be required to test 1-3 days prior to traveling to Aspen. We suggest quarantining from the day you test until you travel to the festival. Details for administering and collecting COVID tests and test results will be communicated by June 1.
  • Everyone will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival with a Rapid BinaxNow antigen nasal swab test. You must receive a negative test result before you enter an AMFS building, dormitory, or shared housing space. Upon receipt of a negative test result, you will be able to settle into your dormitory. 
  • Within 48 hours of a rapid test, everyone will be tested again with a MicrogenDx saliva PCR test. Any student, staff, or faculty member testing positive for COVID-19 upon arrival will be contacted immediately and required to comply with Pitkin County quarantine guidelines.

 

Weekly Testing

  • In addition to testing before and upon arrival (outlined above) all students, staff, and faculty will be tested for COVID-19 once per week. 
  • Anyone receiving a positive test will be provided quarantine housing and must abide by Pitkin County guidelines for quarantining before returning to scheduled activities. 

 

Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated

Out of the utmost caution, there will be no change to the policies and requirements for those who are vaccinated. Even if you have received a vaccine, you must comply with all testing, distancing, masking, and other requirements. 

 

Transportation to and around Aspen

In light of COVID-19, travel to Aspen will require extra planning and attention. We strongly recommend choosing direct routes and limiting your exposure to others while traveling. We also encourage checking on the cancellation/change policies for every booking.

Nearby Airports

  • Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) is located ten minutes from downtown Aspen. We strongly recommend flying here as it is the most direct route.
    • AMFS staff will be present at the airport on designated arrival dates to direct students to the residence halls. Free bus service is available from the airport to the residence halls. Please check with the bus driver to determine which stops they intend to make. Students may also use High Mountain Taxi service (970 925 8294), which is readily available. Expect a fare of approximately $20.
  • Denver International Airport (DEN) is a large airport approximately 220 miles from Aspen that often offers a more affordable (but less convenient) option.
  • Eagle -Vail (EGE), approximately 1.5 hours by car from Aspen, is another option. This is also a smaller, regional airport so do pay attention to cargo restrictions.

 

Ground Transportation from Nearby Airports

Epic Mountain Express is a shuttle service from the Denver International Airport to Aspen. Currently, EME is not running the usual shared shuttles to the Aspen valley. Private shuttles for up to ten people (booked as a group) can be reserved for a steeper price. We will update you if we are able to negotiate a better deal. Consider the increased cost here when booking flight tickets to Denver.

 

Arriving by Car and Parking

This year, driving to Aspen may be a more advisable and appealing option. From Denver, there are two routes to Aspen: via I-70 through Glenwood Springs, or the scenic route via Highway 82 over Independence Pass. Should you choose to drive to Aspen, you will have space to park your car, although we would still encourage you to walk, bike, or take the bus as your primary method of transit around town. There is no student parking on the Bucksbaum Campus. Students who live at Burlingame will be entered in a lottery for a parking space in the Burlingame lot. Everyone else will be asked to park at Marolt Ranch.

 

Personal Vehicles and Parking Policies

Students are strongly encouraged to leave personal vehicles at home and use public transportation while in Aspen. Public transportation is free between AMFS venues* and will accommodate large instruments. There is NO student parking on the Bucksbaum Campus and limited or no student parking at other AMFS venues. Additionally, students who are assigned to Burlingame Housing are not guaranteed a parking space there, but will be granted a space via lottery. All students bringing a car and assigned to Burlingame Housing will be notified by June 1 if they have won a parking space and will receive their parking registration when they check into housing. Those who do not win a parking space will be required to park their car at Marolt.

As it relates to COVID-19 policies students should not carpool this season and should not have anyone besides their roommate in their vehicle. 

Students who play large instruments are not exempt from these parking policies. Double bass, tuba, contrabassoon, and harp students who bring a car to Aspen will receive a Large Instrument Drop Off Pass upon arrival. This pass will allow you to drop off your instrument in the parking lot behind the Benedict Music Tent and Harris Concert Hall, although you will need to move your vehicle once your instrument is unloaded. Parking in the front lot and side streets is on a first-come, first-served basis. The pass will also allow you to drop off your instrument on the Bucksbaum Campus, although you will need to move your vehicle once your instrument is unloaded to the Marolt Housing parking lot. Please note that the free bus system WILL accommodate instruments of any size.

For more information on the best rated public transportation in the country, visit the Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA) website: www.rfta.com

*Bus service is free between Aspen and Snowmass Village, with paid service available west of Snowmass Village. 

 

On-Campus Housing

Students will live on-campus in either Marolt Ranch or Burlingame. Full descriptions of the properties are below. All students living in the residence halls receive a meal plan to include three meals per day, available in either the Marolt or Bucksbaum cafeteria. The residence halls are overseen by the Residence Life staff. These individuals are available to assist the student-residents and to promote a sense of community. A Residence Life Handbook, which will include a complete guide to COVID-19 policies as they pertain to student life, will be available on May 1.

Note that basic items like bath mats, hangers, and dishes/cooking utensils are not provided. Student-residents are directed to local thrift shops (or Amazon) to acquire such items if so desired. Cleaning supplies are provided but shared among all residents and must be checked out. Student-residents are encouraged to purchase their own supplies if they desire regular access to these products.

Internet is provided for checking emails and light web-browsing. It is not designed to support streaming, video conferencing, or high-density downloads and will only function on one device at a time, per resident. Students who rely on Zoom for personal or professional commitments while in Aspen should consider purchasing faster internet via the local Comcast provider. Comcast can be easily installed at the dorms and networks are often shared between students for affordability. Students should expect a total cost of $100-$120 (less if shared) to purchase Comcast WiFi access for the summer. More information will be available upon arrival.

 

MAROLT RANCH

Marolt Ranch Photos

Directions: From Highway 82, take the Castle Creek exit at the roundabout and turn left after less than a quarter mile at the small “Marolt Ranch Housing” sign. Follow the driveway to the main parking lot.

Housing Profile:

  • 94-unit facility
  • 1.5 miles from downtown Aspen
  • .25 miles from the Bucksbaum Campus
  • Pay laundry facilities onsite (One-time purchase of $5 laundry card, plus additional $1.75 per wash load and $1.50 per dryer load, paid for with debit or credit card). Rates are subject to change.
  • Dining Hall onsite
  • Two student residents housed per two-room suite.
  • Room assignment within each suite is determined by the roommates upon their arrival.
  • Units have capability for phone hook-up at tenants' discretion and expense through local utility company (phone not provided)
  • Refrigerator and microwave provided. Cookware, dishes, utensils, not provided.
  • Blanket provided. Pillows can be purchased from AMFS for $5.
  • Limited parking
  • Quiet hours are 10 pm to 9 am, no practicing.

 

BURLINGAME

Burlingame Photos 

Directions:Traveling east on Highway 82, pass the Aspen Airport on the right. Travel another half mile and make a left at the next traffic light (Harmony Road). Burlingame is straight ahead. Burlingame is located approximately three miles west of downtown Aspen.

Housing Profile:

  • 56-unit facility
  • Three miles from downtown Aspen
  • Three miles from the Bucksbaum Campus
  • Pay laundry facilities onsite (One-time purchase of $5 laundry card, plus additional $2.50 per dryer load, paid for with debit or credit card). Rates are subject to changes.
  • Two student residents housed per two-room suite (private bedrooms)
  • Units have capability for phone hook-up at tenants' discretion and expense through local utility company (phone not provided)
  • Kitchen sink, refrigerator, microwave, and stovetop in units. Cookware, dishes, utensils, not provided.
  • Blanket provided. Pillows can be purchased from AMFS for $5.
  • No dining hall at Burlingame; food service is available at the Marolt Ranch and at the Bucksbaum Campus
  • VERY LIMITED PARKING AVAILABLE BY LOTTERY ONLY.
  • Quiet hours are 10 pm to 9 am, no practicing.

 

What to Bring to Aspen

ESSENTIAL ITEMS

  • Smartphone: This year, students will be required to use a symptom tracking and contact tracing app to comply with COVID-19 safety measures. The phone must be wifi-enabled. A data plan is also recommended. Students will be asked to confirm their WiFi-enabled smartphone access in a pre-season survey. The AMFS will assist any students who are unable to bring a smartphone to Aspen.
  • Sheet music: There are no sheet music stores in Aspen. A limited number of scores and parts are available at the chamber music library. Students are encouraged to bring all the solo and chamber music that they might need for the summer.
  • Instrument (auxiliary instruments if you have them), maintenance tools and accessories, music stand
  • Spending money: Aspen is an expensive resort town. Students are encouraged to bring a debit and/or credit card to Aspen rather than cash only.
  • Pad lock for locker use: There is an orchestra locker room at the Benedict Music Tent and some small lockers on the Bucksbaum Campus.
  • Sunscreen, lip protection, and sunglasses: the sun at Aspen’s elevation is intense.
  • Water bottle
  • Fleece, lightweight layers, rain jacket, umbrella, and hiking boots
  • Extra-long flat and fitted twin sheets, pillowcase, bath towels, and hangers. Blankets provided. Pillows can be purchased from the AMFS for $5.
  • Note: Cookware, dishes, and utensils are not provided in the residence halls. It is suggested that those who wish to prepare food in their dorms (some have limited cooking facilities) purchase supplies from local thrift shops or Amazon. All residents receive a meal plan and can eat in the cafeterias.

 

RECOMMENDED ITEMS

  • Laptop
  • Metronome and tuner
  • Recording equipment for lessons and practice sessions
  • Humidifier
  • A fan—Dorm rooms tend to get warm during the day. (Local thrift shops or Amazon are good places to obtain these.)

 

PERFORMANCE ATTIRE

All students should expect to perform in any ensemble (orchestra, opera, specials) and should bring the required clothing. AMFS does not provide attire for loan.

ORCHESTRA CONCERT DRESS
  • Long sleeve white or cream blouse
  • White tuxedo shirt w/ black bow tie
  • White or cream tuxedo jacket
  • Long black skirt or black dress pants
  • Black dress shoes, black socks (hose optional)
     

BRASS FANFARES (Guidelines pertain to all brass students.)

  • Black pants or skirt
  • Black dress shirt with sleeves to the wrist
  • Black dress shoes, black socks (hose optional)
  • Black jacket (optional)
     

OPERA ORCHESTRA AND SPECIALS DRESS (INCLUDES ASPEN CONTEMPORARY ENSEMBLE)

  • Long black pants or skirt
  • Black dress shirt with sleeves to the wrist
  • Black jacket (optional)
  • Black dress shoes, black socks (hose optional)
  • Long gown (optional)
     

ASPEN OPERA THEATER DRESS FOR SINGERS

  • Long black skirt or dress pants
  • White blouse or white dress shirt
  • Black jacket/tux
  • White or cream jacket
  • Formal gown (optional for solo performances)
  • Dark suit, black bow tie
  • Dancewear or sweats for movement
  • Stage-worthy boots (if applicable)
  • Small makeup kit
  • Black or tan character shoes
  • Dress shoes
     

AMERICAN BRASS QUINTET SEMINAR @ASPEN

  • Black dress pants (or skirt) and black jacket
  • Black dress shirt with sleeves to the wrist
  • Black dress shoes, black socks
  • *Business casual for less formal performances

 

Instrument Storage and Care

INSTRUMENT STORAGE 

Large instrument storage is available on the Bucksbaum Campus. Eligible students receive information about this benefit prior to the season. Interested students will sign a waiver and pay a $15 fee for an access code to a shared storage room. A limited number of small instrument (violin/viola) lockers are available in the Lower and Upper classroom buildings. Locks are not provided.  Do not leave instruments unattended in practice rooms or elsewhere, at any time.

 

INSTRUMENT RENTAL AND CARTAGE 

A facility fee ($100 Full Session / $60 Half Session) is charged to all students and provides access to AMFS facilities and amenities, including practice space. 

  • Percussionists receive use of AMFS instruments and cartage between AMFS venues, as well as practice space. 
  • Harpists receive cartage between AMFS venues as well as practice space. Harpists are encouraged to bring their own instruments and are responsible for transporting them to/from Aspen. Those who do not bring their own instrument will be charged a $250 rental fee which will guarantee partial/shared use of a harp for the summer. Students will complete a questionnaire as part of their pre-registration process whereby they will be able to reserve and pay for the harp rental. 
     

*Percussionists and harpists will be contacted by their respective production crews with instructions regarding instrument moves, practice space, and storage. 

 

INSTRUMENT REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE 

Luthier Joan Balter – 555 E. Durant Ave., Aspen 
Joan Balter is available to help string players with instrument repair and she offers strings and accessories for purchase. 

Aside from the occasional visitor, there are no repair services regularly available in Aspen for wind and brass instruments. AMFS does plan to have a service person in Aspen on occasion. Players are advised to bring supplies and tools with them. 

Reed Room: A reed room with access to water nearby is available for reed work. Supplies and tools are not provided. Location will be designated in the Student Handbook distributed upon arrival. Reed Room reservations will be made using our online room booking system, ASIMUT. Students will receive information about how to use ASIMUT upon arrival.

 

Mail and Communications

EMAIL AND SCHOOL NEWSLETTERS

Email is the main source of communication for the AMFS. Students should be check their email regularly.

STUDENT MAIL AND PACKAGES

Students must address all mail and packages to be delivered to the AMFS PO Box (address below). The AMFS Resident Supervisors will pick up mail from the Post Office and bring all items to the Bucksbaum Campus Mail Room every day, Monday–Saturday. Student mail will be sorted and stored in the mail room until picked up. Students will receive an email notifying them when they have items to collect. Expect delays to our isolated mountain town, including services like Amazon Prime.

STUDENT MAIL ROOM LOCATION AND OPERATING HOURS

The Student Mail Room is located on the basement level, back side (Creekside) of the Hardy Building on the Bucksbaum Campus. Mailroom operating hours are as follows:

Monday-Friday, 12 pm–4pm
Saturday, 11am-1pm

ADDRESSES FOR STUDENT MAIL

Student mail and packages sent via U.S. Postal Service should be addressed as follows:

Student’s Name
AMFS Student
P.O. Box 8284
Aspen, CO 81612

Student packages sent by any service other than USPS (like FedEx or UPS) should be addressed as follows:

Student’s Name
AMFS Student
225 Music School Rd.
Aspen, CO 81611

PRE-SEASON AND POST-SEASON MAIL

Students may send large packages (linens, bicycles, etc.) in advance of their arrival but to arrive no earlier than June 15. Packages received pre-season will be delivered to your housing facility and available to pick up beginning Wednesday, June 23.

SMARTPHONES

This year, all students, faculty, and staff will be required to use a symptom tracking and contact tracing app. This app requires use of a smartphone with WiFi access. We also encourage (but do not require) a data plan. Students will be asked to confirm their WiFi-enabled smartphone access in a pre-season survey. The AMFS will assist any students who are unable to bring a smartphone to Aspen. Depending on the carrier, cell phone service can be spotty on the Bucksbaum Campus, at the Benedict Music Tent/Harris Concert Hall, and the residence halls, but it works well in town and surrounding areas. Verizon Wireless provides the best coverage in the Aspen area. Telephones and land line service are not provided in the residence halls.

WIFI ACCESS

Students will be guaranteed WiFi access at the dorms and on campus. This WiFi access will be sufficient for checking email and using the symptom tracker; however, it will likely not be sufficient for video conferencing, streaming, or downloading large files. Students who rely on Zoom for personal or professional commitments while in Aspen should consider purchasing faster internet via the local Comcast provider. Comcast can be easily installed at the dorms, and networks are often shared between students for affordability. Students should expect a total cost of $100–$120 (less if shared) to purchase Comcast WiFi access for the summer. More information will be available upon arrival.

COMPUTER STATIONS

A small number of desktop computers with hard-wired internet access and printing capabilities will be available on campus and at each dorm facility. Computer time will be limited and must be reserved in advance. The procedure for reserving computer time will be communicated upon arrival.

 

Health and Safety in the Mountains

CLIMATE 

Aspen is at an elevation of nearly 8,000 feet and the climate is dry. Together, these two qualities make the perfect environment for dehydration and altitude sickness to occur. When arriving at Aspen, refrain from strenuous activity and exercise, and drink plenty of water until you feel acclimated. Summer temperatures range from ninety degrees during the day to fifty degrees (sometimes, lower) at night. Brief afternoon showers are common. Dress in layers and bring a raincoat, sweater, or light jacket. Aspen day dress is casual (jeans, shorts, and other casual attire). 

WILDLIFE 

Aspen is known for sightings of elk, black bears, occasional sightings of moose, and very rare sightings of mountain lions, in addition to other wildlife. Black bears are timid animals, but they are attracted to food. The best way to avoid an encounter is to properly dispose of your trash in bear-proof containers (provided on the Bucksbaum Campus and around Aspen). Keep food items out of vehicles and close / lock ground floor doors and windows. If you encounter a bear, make your presence known by making noise (don’t surprise the animal), and back away slowly (do not run). Moose sightings are rarer than bear sightings, but moose can be aggressive. If you see a moose, do not approach the animal. Position yourself so there is a physical barrier between you and the moose and then create a wide berth as quickly and calmly as possible. Mountain lion sightings are extremely rare but not a safe situation. If you see a mountain lion, make yourself seem as large as possible, make noise, do not act afraid, and slowly create distance between you and the animal. Elk are generally not a danger but are beautiful to observe in the mountains. 

HIKING SAFETY 

Some of the most beautiful hikes in the world are in the Rocky Mountains. Make sure you explore safely. Have a plan – study your map and bring it with you. Hikes in groups of three or more. Tell someone (Residence Life staff, for instance) where you are going and your expected time of return. Carry and drink plenty of water (a minimum of one quart every two hours), wear sturdy footwear with traction, dress in layers, and stay on the trail. 

We recommend that all students purchase a CORSAR (Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue) card. For just a few dollars, you help to ensure that emergencies can be responded to in a timely manner with all the resources that can help save a life on the trail.

     dola.colorado.gov/corsar_order/order_instructions.jsf   970 925 5775 
 


RIVER SAFETY 

White-water rafting is a popular sport in the area. Rivers run high in early summer, following the snow-melt. We recommend staying off the rivers until late summer. Should you partake in the sport, always go with a guide and wear the recommended safety equipment.

 

Contact the Office of Student Services

For more information, please contact:

Jalen Lee
Manager of Admissions and Student Affairs
jlee@aspenmusic.org
970 205 5054

Megan McDevitt
Manager of Enrollment and Student Benefits
mmcdevitt@aspenmusic.org
970 205 5052

Kathryn Sansone
Dean of Students
ksansone@aspenmusic.org
970 205 5053

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO