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 relies 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 June 15. 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 are required in all indoor spaces unless the space is posted as a 100% vaccinated space in which case masks can be removed.
  • The following exceptions are allowed:
    • Masks can be removed when actively eating or drinking.
    • Special rules exist for masks while playing your instrument or singing. Please see those specific protocols below.
  • Masks are required on all RFTA busses and while waiting at a bus stop.
  • AMFS will have both reusable and disposable masks available to students, but you are asked to bring your own as well.
  • Masks should:
    • 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.


  • Small Ensembles (15 or less people in the room)
    • Masks optional – faculty and students
    • Staff are required to mask.
    • 3ft distancing (non-aerosol instruments), 6ft distancing (aerosol instruments)
    • Performers will be at least 12ft from the audience.
  • Large ensembles (16 or more people in the room)
    • Masks required – faculty, staff, and students
      • Aerosol producing instrumentalists may remove their masks when playing their instrument.
    • Masks optional – soloists and guest artists
      • Additional distancing required for non-vaccinated musicians.
      • Soloists and guest artists must mask while they are not performing
    • 3ft distancing (non-aerosol instruments), 6ft distancing (aerosol instruments)
    • Performers will be at least 12ft from the audience.
  • Lessons and Coachings
    • Masks optional (at faculty’s discretion) – if everyone in the room is vaccinated
    • Masks (and bell covers when necessary) required for anyone who is not vaccinated.
    • Faculty may set more stringent masking policies for their own studio space based on vaccination status.
  • Classes
    • Masks required – non performers and faculty
    • Masks optional – performers (when applicable)
    • Performing space will be 12ft from the audience (when applicable)
    • Audience/students will be seated 3ft from each other
  • Practice Rooms
    • Limit to one person per room
    • Masks optional


All faculty, staff, guest artists, and students will be required to prove their vaccination status. BRING PROOF OF VACINATION WITH YOU TO ASPEN.


  • Un-vaccinated students 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 test results will be communicated by June 4.
  • Vaccinated students are not required to test before traveling to Aspen.
  • Everyone will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival with both a rapid antigen nasal swab test and a PCR saliva test. You must receive a negative test result from the antigen test 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.


  • In addition to testing before and upon arrival (outlined above) all students, staff, and faculty will be tested for COVID-19 regularly.
    • Students who are vaccinated will be required to test every two weeks.
    • Students who are not vaccinated will be tested four times per week.
    • Singers (regardless of vaccination status) will be tested twice per week. 
  • Testing results will be shared with AMFS administration. All confidential information regarding your health, symptoms, vaccination status, or COVID status will remain with personnel who are in a need-to-know position.
  • Issues of quarantine, isolation, or unvaccinated people with symptoms will be overseen by the Dean of Students.
  • Testing will be available by request for students who are symptomatic or have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Anyone receiving a positive test will be provided quarantine housing and must abide by Pitkin County guidelines for quarantining before returning to scheduled activities.


  • While unvaccinated people are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, we have established protocols to decrease this risk as much as possible.
  • Unvaccinated people may not enter indoor spaces which are designated as vaccinated spaces.
    Unvaccinated people who are in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 will need to quarantine as required by Pitkin County Health. See current protocols here.
  • Unvaccinated people are encouraged to keep 6-feet of distance from others.
  • Unvaccinated people are encouraged to wear masks as much as possible.
  • Unvaccinated performers will either be required to mask or seated with additional distance from other performers.
  • Unvaccinated students will have limited concert ticket opportunities as they will be required to sit in the distanced section of the hall that has fewer available seats. The box office and Student Services will do their best to assist students in attending concerts that support their educational experience in Aspen.




If you are unvaccinated and feel ill or are experiencing any of the following symptoms, do not come to campus, rehearsal, or an AMFS event until you have spoken with the Dean of Students or a Residence Life staff member:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea


  • Indoor gatherings (outside of AMFS-scheduled rehearsals, classes, or meetings) are not permitted.
  • These policies must be followed regardless of vaccination status.


  • Students must follow all current Pitkin County guidelines regarding masking, social distancing, and group size.
  • Students are encouraged to maintain AMFS regulations regarding masking, indoor gatherings, and social distancing while off AMFS property, in the understanding that one individual mistake could jeopardize the summer of music-making for everyone.


  • Students are first and foremost encouraged to hold their peers accountable for maintaining COVID-19 safety policies, again in the understanding that one individual mistake could jeopardize the summer for everyone.
  • Violations of COVID-19 polices should be reported to the Residence Life Staff, a member of Student Services, an Orchestra Manager, or another member of AMFS Staff.


  • Before arrival, students will be required to sign an acceptance of our complete COVID-19 Policies document.
  • The success of the 2021 season is contingent upon every single individual’s compliance with all policies. Failure to comply with these policies may lead to curtailment of responsibilities, reduction of privileges, or immediate expulsion.


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:

*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 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 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
  • Quiet hours are 10 pm to 9 am, no practicing.


What to Bring to Aspen


  • 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.



  • 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.)



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.

  • 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)


  • 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)


  • 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


  • 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


For health and safety reasons, students are not to share instruments during the 2021 summer season.

  • Flute: It is expected that all flute students will share the piccolo and alto flute responsibilities/opportunities at Aspen. Please bring your piccolo and alto flute if you have one. 
  • Oboe: It is expected that all oboe students will share the English horn responsibilities/opportunities at Aspen. Please bring your English horn, if you have one, and reeds and the equipment needed to make new English horn reeds. Bring a device for supporting the weight of the instrument, if needed. 
  • Clarinet: It is expected that all clarinet students will share the B-flat, A, E-flat, and bass clarinet responsibilities/opportunities at Aspen. Please bring these instruments if you have them. The E-flat clarinet and bass clarinet fellows are expected to bring their own instruments.
  • Bassoon: Not all bassoon students are expected to play contrabassoon; however, those who have the ability will be given opportunities. Those who own the instrument should bring it to Aspen. Contrabassoon fellows are expected to bring their own instruments.  
  • Aspen Contemporary Ensemble: The flute fellow is expected to bring an alto flute and a piccolo. The clarinet fellow is expected to bring an Eb and a bass clarinet. 



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.



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. 



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.


Classes and Performance Opportunities


Space is reserved for regular studio and master classes from AMFS artist-faculty. Artist-faculty are responsible for organizing these classes and selecting performers. Be sure to tell your teacher if you are interested in performing in a studio or master class!


Non-Orchestral programs will be featured on the Spotlight Recitals series each week at 2:30 pm in Harris Concert Hall. Assignments and repertoire will be detailed by program directors and artist-faculty during the summer.


Outstanding string players will be nominated by members of the AMFS artist-faculty to perform at String Showcase. Approved students will receive a confirmation from the Student Services office. 


Representatives from the American Brass Quintet Seminar @Aspen, Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble programs will perform on this series hosted by the Aspen Art Museum at their trendy rooftop cafe in downtown Aspen.


Brass ensembles will be invited to perform outdoor serenades atop scenic Aspen Mountain. You'll even ride the gondola to your concert! Invited ensembles will be notified by the School and Festival Operations department. 


Due to scheduling limitations, the AMFS will not offer a chamber music program in the 2021 season.


Concerto competitions are reserved for students enrolled in the Orchestral / Instrumental and Solo Piano programs only. 

The Aspen Music Festival and School hosts several Concerto Competitions each summer: violin, piano, lower strings (viola, cello, double bass), woodwinds, and brass. Some competitions are adjudicated by a panel of artist-faculty; other competitions are adjudicated by a master conductor, training student conductors on the hiring of soloists. Winners receive the opportunity to perform as soloist with orchestra at the Benedict Music Tent. A schedule and list of concerto repertoire is available on the Status Page of the student's AMFS account. 

Eligibility:  Concerto Competitions are open to students in the Orchestral or Solo Piano programs only. Members of the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, American Brass Quintet Seminar @Aspen, Aspen Conducting Academy, Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, or other non-orchestral programs are not eligible to participate.

Winners receive the opportunity to perform as soloist with the Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra. Students who have won a competition within the last five years may not compete in that specific competition again. Applications must be submitted by the published deadline. Studio teachers should be consulted about entrance and will be asked to approve or deny each student's application for entrance. Students must find their own accompanist. The AMFS covers the cost of one hour of rehearsal, plus time spent at the competition, for an accompanist selected from the Student Services accompanist list. Competition order is determined by lottery. In some cases, a preliminary round may be held. Cuts and performance order will be emailed on the morning of the competition.

Disqualification Notice: Students must not miss Festival/School commitments (orchestra, private lessons, chamber music, or any other obligation) the seven days prior to the competition and must generally exhibit good citizenship. Necessary absences must be accompanied by a doctor’s note. Incidents will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Applications submitted past the deadline or without teacher approval will not be accepted.


Student Tickets

This summer, the AMFS Box Office is moving to a digital-only format. Registered students can call the AMFS Box office to request tickets. Tickets must be requested one day prior to the event between 2 pm until box-office closing. Once reserved, you will receive an e-ticket to your email address. Tickets are limited and will be reserved on a first come, first served basis. Students may also get tickets the day of the performance, pending availability. Be sure to review the AMFS 2021 Season Calendar for the exciting lineup!

Seating: The Open-Air Benedict Music Tent will have both vaccinated and distanced seating available. (Vaccinated sections will be seated without distance). This will allow us to have well over 800 patrons seated for concerts. Proof of vaccination will be required for vaccinated sections and the AMFS will use a HIPAA-compliant app to help make this easy for frequent attendees. The louvered sides will remain open during all events for maximum air flow.


Mail and Communications


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Student Health Plan

All registered students of the AMFS are required to participate in the Student Health Plan. The $195 Health Service fee ($120 for Half Session) is included in the student’s Enrollment Deposit. Coverage dates are June 23-August 22.


The AMFS Student Health Plan covers visits to the primary care facility at the Aspen Valley Hospital (Aspen Valley Primary Care), which provides general health care. Students may consult with Aspen Valley Primary Care about any non-emergency health or sickness concerns at no cost. When scheduling an appointment, students must notify Aspen Valley Primary Care that they are an AMFS student and request to be seen by Rachel Houseal. Students may either request an in-person or teleheath visit, depending on the severity of illness presented. All referrals made by Aspen Valley Primary Care for general health care related to the student’s time in Aspen will be covered by the AMFS Student Health Plan. The AMFS Student Health Plan DOES NOT cover pre-existing conditions, suicide, routine physicals, hernias, dentistry, optical, or pregnancy. It also does not cover referrals for chiropractors, acupuncture, routine eye exams, other non-essential medical treatments, or any kind of testing. Visits to the Aspen Valley Hospital Emergency Room WILL NOT be covered through the Student Health Plan.

The AMFS Student Health Plan covers up to three visits of physical therapy at Aspen Sports Medicine in downtown Aspen. A referral is NOT required; however, Aspen Sports Medicine will conduct a thorough evaluation of each student’s injuries during the first visit which is considered one of the three free visits. After three visits, additional sessions will require either personal health insurance or an out-of-pocket fee of $125/visit. When scheduling an appointment, students must notify Aspen Sports Medicine that they are an AMFS student.

Aspen Sports Medicine physical therapy appointments must be cancelled at least 24 hours in advance to avoid the cancellation fee. If an appointment is cancelled less than 24 hours in advance of your appointment time, the AMFS STUDENT will be charged a $125 cancellation fee. The charge will be added to your student account and must be paid before leaving Aspen. Charged students will receive an invoice from the Office of Student Services and will need to schedule an appointment with the Student Services office to complete payment.

The AMFS Student Health Plan also covers unlimited visits to Mind Springs Health, offering exceptional mental health and wellness support. Students may make appointments with counselors at the Mind Springs offices which are adjacent to Aspen Valley Hospital.

Direct questions to: Jalen Lee, Manager of Admissions and Student Affairs, at or 970 205 5054.


970 925 1120
401 Castle Creek Road (Across Castle Creek Road from Marolt Ranch)
Dial 9-1-1 in case of a medical emergency.
** Virtual visits available! See website for details.

Medical emergencies will be handled by Aspen Valley Hospital Emergency Room. However, students will need to provide their personal health insurance information at the time of treatment.
Please refer to the Student Handbook (distributed at registration) for specific hours and additional details on coverage. Appointment required.


970 920 5555
405 Castle Creek Road, Suite 207
Crisis hotline: 888 207 4004 (Across Castle Creek Road from Marolt Ranch and adjacent to Aspen Valley Hospital)

Other Mental Health Resources



970 925 1808
616 East Hyman Avenue


970 920 0104
101 Founders Place, Suite 109

The AMFS Student Health Plan does not cover services offered at Aspen Medical Care. This is a good option should a medical concern arise when Aspen Valley Primary Care is closed and the issue does not appear to be a hospital emergency. Students will need to present their personal health insurance at the time of treatment. Hours vary. Walk-ins welcome.


970 920 5420
405 Castle Creek Road (Across Castle Creek Road from Marolt Ranch and adjacent to Aspen Valley Hospital)

Family Planning-Community Health Services offers low-cost and/or free family planning and counseling including reproductive health education and testing. The AMFS Student Health Plan does not cover these services. For paid services, personal health insurance is accepted and most services are charged on a sliding scale.


COVID-19 testing will be required of all students on a regular basis. Tests will be conducted on-site at the AMFS at no cost to the student.


Health and Safety in the Mountains


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). 


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. 


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.   970 925 5775 


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.




A wide range of student work opportunities are available to students and pay $11-15 per hour. Position descriptions are detailed below. Note that most jobs offer few hours per week and will not provide substantial income.

Library Assistants: Several library jobs (bowings, filing, and checking out music) are available at the Benedict Music Tent Library and the Bucksbaum Campus Library.

Ushers: Ushers are needed throughout the summer at the Benedict Music Tent, Harris Hall, and Wheeler Opera House.

Traffic Control & Parking Crew: Parking lot attendants are needed for AMFS events at the Bucksbaum Campus, the Benedict Music Tent, and Harris Hall.

Mail Room Assistants: Several positions are available in the mail room, tracking and organizing mail and packages.

Accompanying and Page-Turning: Collaborative Pianists can earn money through accompanying opportunities in lessons, masterclasses, competitions, and performances. The Collaborative Program Administrator will inform students what portion of services are considered curriculum and what portion warrants compensation. Paid page-turning opportunities will also be offered.



Students must present their AMFS ID to pick up their paychecks from the mail room. Paychecks will not be issued to students with a balance due to the AMFS until it has been paid. See the Student Handbook issued at Registration for paycheck and reimbursement dates.


Students may cash personal checks in the amount of $75 or less and student paychecks from the Aspen Music Festival and School in any amount at Alpine Bank (two locations). Alpine Bank requires fingerprinting, an AMFS ID, as well as a government-issued ID for a non-Alpine Bank customer to cash checks. They will not cash second party checks. More detail will be provided in the Student Handbook provided at Registration.


The following banks are in Aspen. There is not a Bank of America location in Aspen.

  • Alpine Bank
  • American National Bank
  • Bank Midwest
  • Chase Bank
  • First Colorado National Bank
  • Timberline Bank
  • United Western Bank
  • US Bank
  • Wells Fargo Bank




Students are expected to attend Registration, take any in-season auditions, and must be in Aspen for the duration of their session. Please review Important Dates for required events, arrival, and departure dates. For the safety of the community, Leaves of Absence will not be permitted this season. Exceptions may be made in the case of early departures for school. These will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and must be submitted with the Office of Student Services.

Early Departures Requested During Mid-Session

We understand that students sometimes don’t know what school they will be attending in the fall and, therefore, do not know their school start date until mid-summer. Students are expected to request any early departures immediately upon knowing their school start date. Even if a student believes their AMFS commitments will be completed prior to the final session date, students are required to be in AMFS through their departure date unless an early departure has been approved. Typically, approved early departures only allow for a few days between departing Aspen and school start dates. It is wise to do as much preparation as possible prior to arrival in Aspen to ensure a quick transition from Aspen to one’s next commitment. Note that school start dates will be verified by the Student Services department.


The AMFS health care providers will be asked to confirm any illness as a cause of absence from any required activities (orchestra/opera rehearsals, coachings, classes, lessons, etc.). Artist-faculty members are not empowered to excuse students from orchestra assignments or rehearsals. If a student presents a doctor's note for an illness or injury, all parties including orchestra managers, private teachers, coaches, the Scheduler, and the Office of Student Services will be notified. Continued practice and participation in other musical activities will not be permitted to ensure the student's full recovery.

Large ensemble rehearsals (opera/orchestra) have priority over all other musical activities (private lessons, classes). As rehearsals and concerts are part of the educational environment and process, the AMFS is unable to provide specific rehearsal times for each work. Any change in rehearsal order will be communicated to ensemble members in advance of the service. Students who are not assigned to all pieces must plan to be in attendance for the entire service.

Attendance will be taken at all rehearsals. Students are expected to be punctual and maintain a professional attitude. Unexcused absences and frequent tardiness may result in disqualification from competition and recital opportunities, and may result in suspension of private lessons, withholding of the security deposit, forfeiture of scholarship, and/or expulsion. Students will not be excused from rehearsals for religious practices.

Master Classes and Studio Classes are offered at the discretion of AMFS artist-faculty. Be sure to take advantage of classes offered by your teacher, and to let your teacher know if you are interested in performing.

Participation / Attendance as it Relates to COVID  

Confidential information regarding health, symptoms, vaccination status, or COVID status will remain with key management personnel who are in a need-to-know position. Issues of quarantine, isolation, or unvaccinated students with symptoms will be overseen by the Dean of Students. If you are unvaccinated and feel ill or are experiencing any COVID related symptoms, do not come to campus, rehearsal, or an AMFS event until you have spoken with the Dean of Students or a Residence Life staff member. If a student tests positive or an unvaccinated person has been exposed to COVID, they will be contacted by the AMFS administration and will need to comply with Pitkin County guidelines for quarantine/isolation and returning to festival activities. All COVID related absences will be excused as long as the student follows Pitkin County guidelines and AMFS policies. Communication with the Office of Student Services is crucial.

Participation / Attendance as it Relates to Performance Injury

Temporary rest from practicing and playing is usually recommended when dealing with a performance-related injury. Physical therapy may be recommended and is available in Aspen with therapists familiar with music performance problems. Students with pre-existing chronic medical problems that could curtail participation in required performance activities should not attend the AMFS. Students who sustain or aggravate an existing performance-related injury while in Aspen must communicate with the Dean, who will consult with the student’s private teacher, the AMFS health team, and the student to determine what, if any, musical activities will be permitted. Students unable to resume AMFS activities may be dismissed to tend to their injuries in a focused manner, under their regular medical care. Students will be able to communicate any physical concerns in the pre-season survey so that performance-injury history or tendencies can be considered when assigning workload. 



The AMFS trains its students to be professionals and orchestra, opera, and chamber music services are managed as such, in a safe and nurturing environment. See the Student Orchestra Manual and the Student Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS Manual (posted to Status Pages in the spring and available in print at Registration) for a detailed explanation of these experiences, as well as a comprehensive set of guidelines. 



Weekly Private Lessons

Lessons are considered a critical part of a student’s educational experience. The student and artist-faculty member will work together to schedule lessons around ensemble rehearsals and other activities, to ensure a well-rounded experience. Students are expected to be punctual and arrive prepared.

Attendance and Cancellations

Faculty and students are expected to conduct private lessons in person. Virtual teaching should not be used if both student and faculty member are healthy. Notification for lesson cancellation should occur with at least 24 hours notice. If the student does not meet this requirement and does not have a doctor’s note, the faculty member is not obligated to schedule a make-up lesson. If a faculty member cancels at any time for non-COVID related reasons, the lesson must be made up. If a student or faculty member must quarantine or isolate for COVID-related reasons, all efforts should be made to make up the lesson(s) in person, though this cannot be guaranteed. In this case, student and faculty may agree to attempt virtual lessons knowing that WiFi in the dorms and on campus is not reliable. Refunds will not be given for lessons that have not been taken, regardless of circumstances.

Teacher Changes

Changes to private teacher assignment must be approved in advance by the Dean. Email Kathryn Sansone:

Extra Lessons 

Extra lessons (in addition to the weekly private lessons included with tuition) should be arranged and paid for directly with the desired teacher. 



The AMFS promotes personal wellness throughout the summer and offers a multitude of wellness activities organized by the Residence Life Team and the Office of Student Services. AMFS will make every effort to schedule each student at least one day off each week. We recommend taking advantage of wellness programming and the beautiful mountain town of Aspen!



Video recording is NOT allowed in any AMFS Facility at ANY time unless a Video Recording Permission Form is completed and signed by all appropriate parties. Video recording rights may be granted if the student is performing as a soloist or chamber musician at a concert, or performing at a master class or all-student recital. Obtain a Video Recording Permission Form from the Main Reception Desk in the Mail Room of the Hardy Building. The form must be completed with ALL signatures (performers, conductors, master class coach, etc.) and returned to the Main Reception Desk no later than 48 hours prior to the event. Late forms will not be honored. Students must secure all video equipment; no video recorders are available through the AMFS. Events at non-AMFS venues may be recorded without a form, with permission from the teacher of the event and/or anyone else who will appear in the recording. Students are not permitted to broadcast/livestream/post any AMFS concert footage on social media of any kind and should use these recordings personal use only.



The possession or consumption (and being in the presence) of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in the AMFS residence halls, even if the student is of legal drinking age. Further, students are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages onto any AMFS property or venue except for lawn seating at the Benedict Music Tent, in which case students in possession may be asked to show proof of legal age. Students of any age are not permitted to consume alcohol at a concert on which they are performing. The AMFS Alcohol Policy also conforms to all local, state, and federal laws. It is illegal for a person under twenty-one years of age to purchase, consume, possess, or transport any alcohol, liquor, or malt or brewed beverages containing alcohol. Distribution of alcohol by sale or gift to persons under the age of twenty-one is forbidden and unlawful.   

The possession or consumption (and being in the presence) of marijuana in any form is prohibited in the AMFS residence halls, even if the student is of legal age, per Colorado law. Further, students are prohibited from bringing marijuana in any form onto any AMFS property or venue. It is illegal for a person under twenty-one years of age to purchase, consume, possess, or transport marijuana in any form. Distribution of marijuana by sale or gift to persons under the age of twenty-one or to anyone other than the person who was identified at the point of sale by the legal place of purchase is unlawful. The AMFS Drug Policy conforms to federal law regarding all other controlled substances. 



The Bucksbaum Campus, Burlingame, Marolt Ranch, Aspen Highlands Village, and the Benedict Music Tent have designated smoking areas. Smoking is prohibited at the Aspen School District campus. Smoking in areas other than those designated is forbidden. Smoking products/devices include, but are not limited to, cigars, cigarettes, pipes, materials which are lighted or inhaled, e-cigarettes, electronic vaping devices, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems, or such devices which vaporize substances to simulate smoking. In our dry climate, smoking bans mandated by the City or County are a common occurrence and students will need to heed any notices, as distributed. 



Possession, storage, and/or use of a firearm of any description (including, but not limited to, air rifles, airsoft guns, paintball guns, pellet guns, pistols, ammunition, gunpowder, etc.) on any AMFS property is prohibited. In addition, possession, storage, or use of a dangerous weapon (including, but not limited to, clubs, dangerous knives, and martial arts weapons), hazardous chemicals or biological substances, explosive devices of any description (including but not limited to, fireworks, regardless of size or type), incendiary devices specifically modified to be used as a weapon, hunting equipment, and other dangerous articles, weapons, or substances is prohibited on any AMFS property or venue. 



Pets are NOT allowed in student housing and pets are not permitted in rehearsal halls, performance venues, studio and classroom buildings, practice rooms, or residence halls. Pets may come onto the Bucksbaum Campus but are not permitted inside structures. Pets must not be disruptive and must be leashed at all times. Owners are responsible for immediately disposing of waste. Pets are not permitted on the Aspen School District campus.  



The Aspen Music Festival and School does not provide insurance for students’ personal property, including but not limited to students’ instruments, and cannot be held responsible in the event of loss, damage, or theft of personal property. The AMFS strongly recommends that students obtain insurance coverage for their personal property prior to arrival in Aspen. Some homeowner insurance may provide coverage. Do not leave personal property unattended at any time. 



Tuition and housing deposits are due at the time of enrollment and are non-refundable should a student decide not to attend after enrolling. Deposits will be applied toward the total cost of attendance. In addition, once a student has registered, all fees (including tuition and room and board) are non-refundable except in the case of medical emergencies as approved by the Dean. Any overpayment will be refunded approximately one week after registration and can be collected by check at the Mail Room.


Students are required to pay their balance due by May 15. Online payments can be made through the Status Page of the student’s AMFS account. Checks should be mailed to 225 Music School Road, Aspen, CO 81611 and made payable to the Aspen Music Festival and School. Include student name and reference number in the notes. There will be a $25 insufficient funds charge for returned checks. A single payment of the full balance is encouraged; however, an installment plan is available to help students/parents meet their financial obligations. The Installment Plan Request form is available on the student’s Status Page. 

All students pay a $100 security deposit. The security deposit is refundable subject to completion of the check-out procedure and completion of the Student Exit Survey. After all applicable fees for damages and unreturned items have been paid, any remaining balance of the security deposit will be mailed to the address provided in the check-out form, postmarked by September 30. In the case of season cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all deposits, and tuition/balance payments will be refunded.  



The AMFS admits students of any race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, marital status, family responsibility, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, veteran status, sex, affectional or sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or gender expression or individuals associated with any of the aforementioned protected group statuses to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the AMFS. It does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs, and other AMFS- administered programs. No person shall be denied engagement solely because of any impairment which is unrelated to the ability to participate in activities involved in the position(s) or program for which application has been made. 



Bullying is unwelcome or unreasonable behavior that demeans, intimidates, or humiliates people either as individuals or as a group. Bullying behavior is often persistent and part of a pattern, but it can also occur as a single incident. It is usually carried out by an individual but can also be an aspect of group behavior. Bullying is unacceptable. Participating in any kind of bullying action may result in expulsion. 



The AMFS is committed to maintaining a work environment where every employee, student, artist-faculty member, and guest artist is treated with respect and dignity. All individuals have the right to work, learn, teach, or perform in an atmosphere that promotes equal opportunity and prohibits discriminatory practices and treatment, including sexual harassment. Sexual harassment, whether verbal, physical, or environmental, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. 

purposes of enforcing this policy, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome or unwanted conduct of a sexual nature (verbal, written, or physical) when: (1) submission to or rejection of this conduct by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting hiring, evaluation, promotion, or other aspects of employment, education, or performance; and/or (2) this conduct interferes substantially with an individual’s employment, education, or performance; and/or (3) this conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment in which to work, learn, teach, or perform. 

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to: unwanted sexual advances; demands for sexual favors in exchange for favorable treatment or continued employment; repeated sexual jokes, flirtation, advances, or propositions; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; graphic or verbal commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess, or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling, touching, pinching, assault, coerced sexual acts, or suggestive, insulting, obscene comments or gestures; and display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures. 

This policy governs all permanent and temporary employees of the AMFS, as well as students, artist-faculty, and guest artists. The AMFS will not tolerate, condone, or allow sexual harassment, whether engaged in by fellow employees or supervisors, or by non-employees who conduct business with the AMFS, including students, artist-faculty, and guest artists. The AMFS encourages reporting of all incidents of sexual harassment, whoever the offender may be, and promises thorough protection to the reporter. 

Individuals who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment should report the incident to one of the following AMFS staff by calling 970 925 3254: 

  • Jennifer White, Vice President for School and Festival Operations
  • Jenny Elliot, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Administration 

Complaints of sexual harassment will be investigated promptly and in a manner that is as impartial and confidential as possible. Retaliation against any employee, student, artist-faculty member, or guest artist for complaining about sexual harassment or for participating in an investigation is strictly prohibited. 

Violations of this policy will result in appropriate disciplinary action. Based on the seriousness of the offense, disciplinary action may include verbal or written reprimand, suspension, or termination. 



The AMFS has adopted a policy regarding consensual relationships between faculty or supervisory staff and the staff or student that they supervise, teach, or coach. No staff member or faculty member is permitted to be involved in a relationship (sexual and/or romantic) with any other staff member or student with whom he or she has a direct professional relationship (such as teaching or coaching) or an indirect professional relationship (such as orchestra placement decisions, leading a section, or managing an orchestra). Such relationships may adversely affect the teacher/student relationship and give rise to conflicts between personal and professional interests. Furthermore, no staff or faculty member should be in a supervisory position (including teaching and coaching) over a staff member or student with whom they have had a previous relationship. In addition, students are prohibited from renting rooms from or residing with faculty members or staff. 

Pre-existing relationships of this nature should be disclosed to the hiring manger, General Manager, Dean, Vice President for Strategy and Administration, or President upon receipt of their letter of agreement (or prior) to determine and resolve any potential conflicts between their employment and the relationship with a student of the AMFS. Exceptions to the co-habitation rule may be granted on a case-by-case basis. 



  • As a student of the Aspen Music Festival and School, I will adhere to all rules, regulations, and policies stated in Student Handbooks and by the administration. 
  • As a student of the Aspen Music Festival and School, I will take responsibility for my own schedule and put my musical education first. 
  • As a student of the Aspen Music Festival and School, I will be honest and respectful and ensure that I represent the AMFS well, both on and off Campus. 
  • As a student of the Aspen Music Festival and School, I will comply with all city, state, and federal laws. 
  • As a student of the Aspen Music Festival and School, I understand that breaking the Code of Conduct could mean disciplinary action as severe as expulsion without refunding of fees paid


Contact the Office of Student Services

For more information, please contact the following.

Alumni Inquiries:

Student Housing Inquiries:

Enrollment Inquiries:

Admissions Inquiries:

Student Services Directory:  970 205 5050

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO