Aspen Music Festival And School

Student Handbook

Table of Contents


Important Dates

2017 School Calendar


June 21–22 Full Session and Half Session I registration
June 23 Aspen Conducting Academy string auditions
June 24–25 Aspen Conducting Academy conductor auditions
June 23–25 Orchestra and chamber music placement auditions
June 24–25 Aspen Opera Center auditions
June 26 All-Student Orientation and Convocation at 10:30 am at the Tent (mandatory for all students)
Week of June 26 AMFS rehearsals, lessons, classes, and performances begin
July 24 Half Session II registration


July 23 Half Session I ends
August 20 Full Session and Half Session II ends


June 20 Full Session and Half Session I students may check-in to the residence halls from 5 pm–10 pm.
June 21–23 Full Session and Half Session I students may check-in to the residence halls 8 am–10 pm each day.
July 23 Half Session II students may check-in to the residence halls from 4 pm–10 pm.


July 23 Half Session I students must check-out of the residence halls by 10 am.
August 21 Full Session and Half Session II students must check-out of the residence halls by noon.

Aspen Basics

The area of Aspen was originally discovered by the Ute Indians. The area became a booming silver town in 1880 after a small group of entrepreneurs and speculators had staked claim to the area and set up camp near Aspen Mountain. Aspen flourished as a mining town until the demonetization of silver in 1893. In 1945 Friedl Pfeifer and Walter Paepcke joined forces to develop a ski area in Aspen. In 1946 the Aspen Skiing Corporation was founded and four years later Aspen hosted the FIS World Championships. Paepcke was also the driving force in the Goethe Bicentennial Convocation that brought 2,000 people to Aspen in the summer of 1949. Prominent musicians and humanitarians convened to celebrate Goethe’s great spirit of optimism. Concerts were held in a light-filled tent designed by Eero Saarinen. The Goethe Festival spawned many of Aspen’s cultural institutions such as the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Students should NOT bring pets to Aspen even if living in off-campus housing. It is very difficult to find housing that allows pets. Pets are not permitted in rehearsal halls, performance venues, studio and classroom buildings, or practice rooms.

Summer weather is generally warm and dry with temperatures occasionally as high as 90 degrees during the day and 50 degrees (or lower) at night. Brief afternoon showers are common; a raincoat, sweater, or light jacket is recommended. Daily dress in Aspen is casual and often includes jeans, shorts, and other casual wear.


  • Sheet music: 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 as there are no sheet music stores in Aspen.
  • Music stand
  • Spending money: The cost of meals and entertainment in Aspen tends to be quite high. Students are encouraged to bring an ATM/debit card to Aspen rather than cash only.
  • Locks: There is an orchestra locker room at the Benedict Music Tent and some small lockers on Campus, in which students are welcome to store their personal belongings. Locks are not provided. For day use only.
  • Sunscreen, lip protection, and sunglasses: The sun at Aspen’s elevation is intense.
  • Water bottle
  • Fleece, lightweight layers, rain jacket, umbrella, and hiking boots
  • Camera


  • Cell phone
  • Metronome and tuner
  • Recording equipment for lessons and practice sessions
  • Humidifier

Instrument Storage and Care

There is no large storage space available for instruments on School property other than those for percussion and harp. Limited small instrument storage is available in the Upper Studio Building. Students must bring their own locks. Important! Do not leave instruments unattended in practice rooms at any time.

Luthier Joan Balter is available to help string players with any instrument needs. Her shop offers strings and accessories. Please refer to the Student Information Packet (distributed at Registration) for specific hours and location. There are no repair services available in Aspen for wind instruments; players are advised to bring supplies and tools with them.

The Aspen Music Festival and School provides no 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. Students are strongly recommended to obtain insurance coverage for their personal property prior to arrival in Aspen. Some homeowners insurance may provide coverage. Do not leave personal property unattended at any time.

Registration, Orientation, and Convocation


Registration is required of all students

Bucksbaum Campus
June 21 (Wednesday): 1:30–4:30 pm
June 22 (Thursday): 9:30 am–12 pm and 1:30–4 pm

Office of Student Services
July 24 (Monday): 9:30 am–12 pm and 2:30-4:30 pm

Bring the following items:

  • Payment for balance due
  • Aspen address and phone number if living off campus

All students must register during the designated period, June 21-22. Students are encouraged to arrange travel around available registration times. Students who do not complete registration during the designated dates will be charged a late registration fee of $100. Students who have received approval for a leave of absence at the time of enrollment will also be charged a $100 late registration fee.

Students are required to pay their balance due by June 1. 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. Note: 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.

Tuition and housing deposits are non-refundable (in the event of cancellation) and will be applied toward the total cost of attendance. Students who are placed in on-campus housing and subsequently withdraw or cancel their housing reservation will forfeit their deposits. FELLOWSHIP STUDENTS WHO REQUEST ON-CAMPUS HOUSING AND THEN WITHDRAW THAT REQUEST WILL FORFEIT $1,000, TO BE DEDUCTED FROM THE FELLOWSHIP STIPEND. 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 at the Office of Student Services.

Percussion equipment fee ($100 full session; $60 half session) will be charged to all percussion students. This fee covers rental and cartage of percussion instruments between AMFS venues, guarantees practice spaces, and serves as the student’s practice room fee.

Harp equipment fee ($100 full session; $60 half session) will be charged to all harp students*. This fee covers cartage between AMFS venues, guarantees a practice space and serves as the student’s practice room fee.

*Harpists are encouraged to bring their own instrument as there is limited rental availability. Students are responsible for its transportation to/from the Festival. Those who do not bring their own instrument to Aspen will be charged a fee of $350, which will guarantee a partial/shared use of a harp for the summer, and includes cartage between AMFS venues and a practice space. Additional questions regarding harp rentals and cartage in Aspen can be directed to Audrey Kwong, Director of Operations, at

Practice room fee (optional): Students have the option to pay $100 for Full Session and $60 for Half Session for the opportunity to reserve specific practice rooms for three hours daily. Practice room fees are refundable if requested within one week of the date that the student registers. To request a refund, students must get an approval form from the Scheduling Office and submit the signed form to the Office of Student Services.


Student Orientation is REQUIRED FOR ALL STUDENTS. It is an opportunity for students to learn about rules, regulations, and procedures as well as receive information about the Campus. Convocation immediately follows Orientation and is also REQUIRED FOR ALL STUDENTS. This is an opportunity for students to meet the artist-faculty, administration, other students, and celebrate the commencement of the season.

Monday, June 26: 10:30 am in the Benedict Music Tent
(Voice students are scheduled for a rehearsal at this time and will have a separate orientation.)

Monday, June 26: 11 am in the Benedict Music Tent

Monday, July 24: 1:30 pm at the Bucksbaum Campus



Aspen is located 220 miles west of Denver, Colorado (about a 3.5-hour drive). The City of Aspen is served by major airlines.

BY PLANE is a resource for travel arrangements to Aspen or other Colorado airports. Call Lynne Rosenfield at 800-928-9463. The Aspen Airport (ASE) is located ten minutes from downtown Aspen. AMFS volunteers will be at the airport to assist arriving students on regular Registration dates, June 21 and 22 (Wednesday and Thursday) as well as for early arrivals on June 20 (Tuesday). Volunteers for Half Session II will be at the airport on July 23 (Sunday). Luggage delivery is provided for students living in the residence halls and may take up to five hours after arrival. (The AMFS is not responsible for lost luggage.) Free bus service is available from the airport to the Bucksbaum Campus, residence halls, and downtown Aspen. Please check with the bus driver to determine which stops they intend to make. Students arriving on other days can use High Mountain Taxi service (970-925-8294), which is readily available. Expect a fare of approximately $20.

Another option is flying to the Denver International Airport (DEN) and driving to Aspen (approximately 3.5 hours), or flying to Eagle-Vail (EGE) (approximately 1.5 hours). Colorado Mountain Express (970-754-7433) is a shuttle service that offers a one-way rate of $96 from Denver when the code AMFS is mentioned for the reservation. There is an additional fee for large instruments. Cellists and tubists must purchase an additional seat. Double bassists are required to book a private shuttle. Visit for more information, however please note reservations must be made by telephone for the discount to apply.

Aspen Pitkin Airport is a small airport which may not transport large instruments. Students traveling with a large instrument should speak directly with their airline and airport in advance, as policies change frequently.

Students must stay through the final concert on August 20. Students who book tickets with a return date earlier than August 20 will be asked to change their flights. Any resulting change fee will be the responsibility of the student.

There are two routes by car from Denver to Aspen. From the Denver International Airport, take I-70 West to Glenwood Springs (exit 116). Follow signs to Highway 82 which leads to Aspen (forty miles). Another option from Denver is to drive to Aspen via scenic Independence Pass. Take I-70 West to the exit for I-91 South. Travel through Leadville (I-91 becomes 24 South), then west onto Highway 82 over Independence Pass.

Students are not permitted to park at the Bucksbaum Campus. PLEASE NOTE: Parking is also limited at the residence halls. Students are discouraged from bringing cars to Aspen.

Driving Directions to the AMFS Bucksbaum Campus
Traveling east on Highway 82 (to Aspen from Denver via Glenwood Springs). Take the Castle Creek Road exit at the roundabout (traffic circle) and travel one mile to Music School Road.

Traveling west on Highway 82 (to Aspen from Denver via Independence Pass). Follow the signs for Highway 82/Main Street through downtown Aspen (Main Street turns several times). Leaving Aspen, enter the roundabout on the west side of town, take the Castle Creek Road exit.

Amtrak service is available to Glenwood Springs, forty miles northwest of Aspen. Call 800-USA-RAIL. Bus or taxi service is available from Glenwood Springs to Aspen. Students should contact taxi services before booking travel as one way rides can cost more than $100.

Bus service is available from Denver to Glenwood Springs, forty miles northwest of Aspen. Bustang is a bus service offered through the Colorado Department of Transportation. Call 800-900-3011 or visit for more information.


Aspen is a small town, and summer is a very busy tourist season. As a result, traffic is heavy, parking can be a challenge, and gasoline prices in Aspen far exceed national averages. Students are encouraged to take advantage of public transportation.

The Bucksbaum Campus is a pedestrian Campus. There is no student or visitor parking. The Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA) is a bus service that conveniently travels to all AMFS facilities and extends from the City of Aspen to Snowmass Village, free of charge. More info at

Free bus service between Campus and the other AMFS facilities is provided by the Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA) and the City of Aspen. Bus schedules are available at Rubey Park Transit Center and on most RFTA buses, at the Office of Student Services, and at the Marolt Student Information Center. All items left on buses will be sent to the Rubey Park Transit Center. Bus transportation issues should be reported to the AMFS Operations Office in the Hardy Building.

Students are encouraged to bring bicycles (as well as helmets and locks) to Aspen as their primary mode of transportation. The AMFS offers a limited number of bicycles distributed by lottery for a nominal fee of $25. Helmet is included, locks are for sale. Bicycle rentals are also available in town. Cyclists are strongly encouraged to wear a helmet at all times. When using AMFS equipment, helmets are REQUIRED.

Along with major cities like New York, Chicago, Denver/Boulder, and Los Angeles, Aspen’s own bike share program, WE-cycle, will be operating again this summer. With over a dozen stations, including the Benedict Music Tent and Marolt Ranch, WE-cycle offers students an easy and convenient way to get around town. In 2016, WE-cycle offered free passes. For more information visit


Students must park in the patron parking lot, located in the front of the Tent. Students are not permitted to park behind the Tent, as parking is limited and requires a special permit. Unauthorized vehicles will be booted. See the Production Office backstage at the Tent to have a boot removed with a $60 fine.

The Bucksbaum Campus is a PEDESTRIAN Campus. There is NO STUDENT OR VISITOR PARKING. The Roaring Fork Transit Authority ( is a bus service that conveniently travels to all AMFS facilities and extends from the City of Aspen to Snowmass Village free of charge. Unauthorized vehicles will be booted with a $60 fine for removal.

Paid parking is enforced Monday–Saturday 10 am–6 pm. Parking can be paid by cash, credit card by meter or by phone (1-866-234-PARK), or by using the PayByPhone app available for iOS and Android. Additional information can be found on parking pay stations.

On-Campus Housing

Students who wish to live on campus may live in either the Marolt Ranch or Burlingame residence hall. Burlingame is reserved for Full Session students age 21 and up, while Marolt Ranch houses students age 15 and older, with those under age 18 placed in a separate block with extra supervision. These facilities have the capacity to house approximately two-thirds of the student body, and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. It should be noted that all units are typically reserved by May 1. Free bus service is provided from the residence halls to the Bucksbaum Campus, downtown Aspen, and other AMFS facilities and rehearsal venues (Benedict Music Tent, Aspen Middle School). 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.

All students living in the residence halls are required to be on the meal plan. Refunds and/or discounts for the meal plan are not provided. Students with food allergies should communicate with the Office of Student Services before their arrival in Aspen. Alcohol, controlled substances (including marijuana), animals (including pets and service animals), and firearms are not permitted in the residence halls. Smoking is permitted only in designated areas and not within the units. Practice hours (in the units) are from 9 am to 10 pm. Overnight guests are not permitted for all student-residents. Students age 18 and older are not permitted to enter the rooms of students under the age of 18. Students under the age of 18 may not enter rooms of students of the opposite sex.

Required items: extra-long twin size sheets (flat and fitted), pillowcases, and bath towels.

Recommended items: cell phone and cooking utensils.

Note that basic items like bath mats, hangers, dishes / cooking utensils are not provided. Student-residents are directed to local thrift shops 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 use of checking emails and light web-browsing. It is not designed to support streaming or high-density downloads and will only function on one device at a time, per resident. Student-residents who desire higher-performance internet should contact the local service provider to acquire service at their own expense.

Student-residents must review the Residence Life Handbook prior to arrival in Aspen. Residence Life Handbooks will be made available on the Status Page of the student’s AMFS account in the Spring.


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

  • Ages 15 and up
  • 94 unit facility
  • 1.5 miles from downtown Aspen
  • .25 miles from the Bucksbaum Campus
  • Pay laundry facilities onsite
  • Dining Hall onsite
  • 3 student-residents housed per 2-room suite (2 residents will share the larger room). Room choice 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
  • Pillow and blanket provided
  • Parking is limited. It is recommended that Marolt Ranch residents do not bring a car to Aspen.


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.

  • Ages 21 and up
  • Full Session students only
  • 56 unit facility
  • 3 miles from downtown Aspen
  • 3 miles from the Bucksbaum Campus
  • Pay laundry facilities onsite
  • 2 student-residents housed per 2-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 provided
  • Pillow and blanket provided
  • No dining hall offered at Burlingame; food service is available at the Marolt Ranch and at the Bucksbaum Campus
  • PARKING IS EXTREMELY LIMITED; BRINGING A VEHICLE TO ASPEN IS NOT RECOMMENDED. Free bus service is available within the city and neighboring Snowmass. Fare based bus service is also available throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.


Students enrolled in the meal plan receive three meals daily and must present their AMFS Student ID. Vegetarian selections, as well as a salad and sandwich bar, are always available. Food must not be taken for later consumption. Food may not be shared with individuals who are not on the meal plan. Doing so will result in revocation of the meal plan without refund. Refunds and/or discounts for the meal plan are not provided. Students with food allergies should communicate with the Office of Student Services before their arrival in Aspen.

  • Campus Café – Bucksbaum Campus
  • Marolt Grill – Marolt Ranch


June 20 (Tuesday), 5–10 pm; Early check-ins are not permitted. No exceptions.
June 21–23 (Wed–Fri), 8 am–10 pm

Students should check-in directly at their assigned residence hall. If arriving by plane, free bus service is available from Aspen Airport to Burlingame and Marolt Ranch. Meal service at Marolt Ranch begins Wednesday, June 21, at 11:30 am. Temporary meal passes can be obtained from a resident assistant.

Students who did not receive a residence hall assignment prior to June 21 should call the Office of Student Services at 970-205-5054 or the Marolt Student Information Center at 970-920-3499.

July 23 (Sunday), 4–10 pm

Students should check-in at their assigned residence hall. Meal service at Marolt Ranch and Campus begins Sunday, July 23, at 4:30 pm. Temporary meal passes can be obtained from a resident assistant.

Students arriving after the designated Registration dates of their session must go directly to the Student Information Center (located below the Marolt Ranch dining hall) to check-in before going to their assigned residence hall.

Marolt Ranch, below the dining hall
The Center is open as posted and will serve as the communication center for all students living in the residence halls. Phone messages may be left at this office for student-residents. Orchestral assignments, changes in rehearsal times, and other announcements are posted here (as well as other locations around the Campus, residence halls, and performance venues). Resident supervisors on duty have cell phones in case of problems or emergencies. These phone numbers are listed in the Residence Life Handbook, available on the Status Page of the student’s AMFS account. Bus schedules, class schedules, student and artist-faculty contact information, AMFS calendars, and Residence Life Handbooks are also available to students.


  • Students age 15-17
  • Required to live in the residence halls unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Must abide by the 11 pm curfew set by ordinance of the City of Aspen.

The AMFS provides specially supervised housing on a limited basis for students ages 15 to 17 (students must be 15 as of June 21, 2017). Students age 15 to 17 who wish to live in the School’s supervised housing must provide written parental permission on the underage agreement. Students living in the residence hall for underage students are held to the additional rules and regulations, including nightly 11 pm bed checks. These rules and regulations will be posted, distributed, and discussed with the underage students. Violation of these regulations or demonstration of a lack of sufficient maturity by any student will result in a meeting with the Resident Director, Associate Dean, and/or the Dean and possible expulsion. In the event of expulsion from the residence halls, the parent is responsible for all arrangements necessary to remove the student within seventy-two hours of notification.

Students under the age of 15 may not live in the residence halls. The AMFS requires a parent or a legal guardian to be in residence in off-campus housing with any student under the age of 15 for the entire session.  If parents choose to grant permission to a legal guardian, the guardian must be at least 21 years of age and cannot be a student of the AMFS. An authorization of guardianship form must be submitted to the Dean, including a statement signed by the parent giving responsibility of the child to the guardian. This form must also be signed by the guardian, stating that they will accept responsibility for the child. Each case will be considered separately and approval given on an individual basis.

The City of Aspen maintains a strict curfew policy, which the AMFS enforces. Individuals under the age of 18 are not permitted on city streets between the hours of 11 pm and 6 am unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, or on legitimate business as directed by an adult. All underage students of the AMFS are expected to comply with these regulations. The AMFS requests that parents who are living with their children be aware of and observe these regulations.

Off-campus Housing

Students who wish to live off campus make their own living arrangements. As a resort town, Aspen's affordable housing is competitively sought-after and students are strongly encouraged to make arrangements as early as possible. However, summer housing usually does not become available until the ski season ends in April.

The following websites are resources that students have found helpful:

As a resource to students, the AMFS provides a referral list of available local housing to be posted on the student Status Page on April 1 of each year. The listing will be regularly updated with vacancies until the Festival’s start in mid-June. This list is not an endorsement of any kind, but strictly a list of properties and roommate situations. The AMFS does not guarantee the condition, including but not limited to the quality, comfort, and safety of any listing, and will not interfere with negotiations. Further, the AMFS is not responsible for any contractual obligations agreed upon between landlord and tenant.

Students who wish to be referred to other students for apartment or house-sharing should contact the office and request to be added to the list. Landlords interested in advertising available properties should email with a short description (75 words or less) of the property and appropriate pricing and contact information.

A small number (20-30) of opportunities for students to live free of charge with a generous member of the Aspen community exist. Students may not approach community members directly about these opportunities as they are awarded as part of a financial assistance package and community members receive perquisites from the AMFS as a token of appreciation. Fellowship students are not eligible for these opportunities.


Students age 18 and older are required to audition for orchestra upon arrival at Aspen, though students of all ages are welcome to audition. Students under age 18 should consult with their private teachers before auditioning. Placement in orchestra is not guaranteed for students under the age of 18. It may be recommended that younger or less-experienced players focus on private study or specially-designed and limited exposure to orchestra. Opportunities for Half Session II students are limited. Pre-existing medical conditions will not excuse students from participation in orchestra.

Auditions will be held beginning Friday, June 23.  Information about dates, times, and repertoire for specific instruments will be communicated in the Spring.

Placement in orchestra is determined by these auditions, so it is to the advantage of the student to arrive in good condition, prepared to play at one's best; there will not be an opportunity to re-audition for orchestra placement.

For a description of the AMFS ensembles, visit the Orchestra/Instrumental page. All AMFS ensembles tune A=441.

Students interested in participating in the Aspen Chamber Music program must audition upon arrival in Aspen. Students under age 18 should consult with their private teachers before auditioning. Placement in chamber music is not guaranteed for any student and priority is given to Full Session students. It may be recommended that younger or less-experienced players focus on private study or specially-designed and limited exposure to chamber music.

Placement auditions will be held June 24 and 25. String, woodwind, and piano students must prepare required repertoire. The repertoire list and instructions for audition sign-up will be provided via email in the Spring. Ensembles formed range from trios and quartets to large mixed ensembles. Pre-formed ensembles are strongly encouraged to audition together.

String seating placement auditions are June 23 (Friday). Conducting auditions are June 24 and 25 (Saturday and Sunday). Wind and brass students assigned to the Academy Orchestra must audition at regular orchestra placement audition times.

Auditions for AOC will be held on June 24 and 25 (Saturday and Sunday). At this time, some supporting roles and scenes will be assigned. Detailed information will be communicated in the Spring.

Instrumentalists and vocalists who were approved for late arrival at the time of enrollment will be scheduled for a late audition time. This information will be available at Late Registration. Late auditions can negatively impact placement.



Women Men
Long black skirt or pants White or cream tuxedo jacket
Black dress shoes and hose Black pants
White blouse Black bow tie
Black shirt or blouse to the wrist Black dress shoes, socks
Long gown (optional) Black turtleneck or shirt


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


Women and Men

Long black pants (or skirt for women)
Black dress shirt, black jacket optional
Black dress shoes, black socks or hose

Age Restrictions


Students age 18 and older are required to audition for orchestra upon arrival at Aspen, though students of all ages are welcome to audition. Students under age 18 should consult with their private teachers before auditioning. Placement in orchestra is not guaranteed for students under the age of 18. It may be recommended that younger or less-experienced players focus on private study or specially-designed and limited exposure to orchestra.

Chamber Music

Students of all ages are welcome to audition for the Aspen Chamber Music program upon arrival at Aspen. Students under age 18 should consult with their private teachers before auditioning. Placement in chamber music is not guaranteed for any student and priority is given to Full Session students. It may be recommended that younger or less-experienced players focus on private study or specially-designed and limited exposure to chamber music.

The AMFS is not structured like a summer camp; other than some Monday events, there are few organized recreational activities. The AMFS is not staffed to handle the special social and structural needs of younger students nor are they able to supervise the social choices of students. Students are responsible for their own actions and the possible consequences for inappropriate or unacceptable behavior. Parents: Be aware that there are no uniforms, no daily sign-out procedures, and no supervised practice times. Please also be aware that the average student is over age 21 and of legal drinking age, though the AMFS does not allow alcohol in on-campus housing and follows federal law in regard to controlled substances. Underage students unable to focus on their musical studies without parental supervision and unable to make responsible social choices should consider attending the Aspen Music Festival and School accompanied by a parent or should delay attendance until they are fully able to do so.

AMFS Facilities

225 Music School Road
Aspen, CO 81611

The Bucksbaum Campus is located two miles outside of downtown Aspen and is served by the RFTA free bus system. The following buildings comprise the Bucksbaum Campus:

  • Gordon Hardy Building – reception, Office of Student Services, Operations, and Artistic Administration
  • Robert Harth Building – Campus Café, administrative and executive offices
  • Castle Creek Building – primarily piano and strings studios
  • Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson Hall – rehearsal and small performance venue
  • Scanlan Hall – rehearsal and small performance venue
  • Hurst Hall – rehearsal and small performance venue
  • Martin and Melva Bucksbaum Lower School Building – primarily strings studios, composition studio; orchestra management offices; scheduler’s office
  • Upper Studio Building – primarily wind and brass studios; contains Friedman Atrium where the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble rehearses
  • Music Library – select orchestra music and all chamber music
  • Harry Teague Pavilion – studio and meeting space
  • Betty A. Schermer Percussion Building – percussion classes, lessons, and practice space
  • Dana and Gene Powell Practice Rooms – 25 rooms with upright pianos; 2 harp practice rooms without pianos
  • Martin and Ruth Carver Practice Rooms – 11 rooms with grand pianos
  • Barbara and Jon Lee Practice Rooms – 11 rooms with grand pianos
  • Becky and Mike Murray Practice Rooms – 17 rooms without pianos
  • The Foreman’s House – student mail room; reed-making room
  • Bike Shed – student bicycle pick-up and repair

Important! Lost items found on Campus will be held at the reception desk in the Hardy Building.

Main Office:
Monday–Friday 8 am–5 pm
Saturday 9 am–4 pm
Closed Sunday

Office of Student Services:
Monday–Friday 9:30 am–4:30 pm
Saturday 9 am–12 pm; 1–4 pm
Closed Sunday

*Scheduling Office:
Monday and Saturday 9 am–3 pm
Tuesday–Friday 9 am–5 pm
Closed Sunday
*Please see the office to confirm hours.

Practice Rooms:
Bucksbaum Campus 7 am–11 pm
Aspen School District (AOC only) 8 am–10 pm
Marolt Ranch 7 am–11 pm

*Large rehearsal spaces must be scheduled through the Operations Manager. Large spaces are limited and prioritized for orchestral rehearsals and faculty requests. Student reservations can only be confirmed within 24 hours of the requested time. Submit requests to Christopher Slaughter, Operations Manager, at

All Bucksbaum Campus facilities close at 11 pm.  Security will report any after-hours activities to the Dean’s Office.

980 North Third Street
Opened in 2000, the 2,050 seat Benedict Music Tent is the AMFS’s primary performance venue. The Tent also houses the Aspen Festival Orchestra and Aspen Chamber Symphony libraries, the dub room, and the Meadows production office. The Benedict Music Tent is accessible by the RFTA free bus service and offers a WE-cycle station in the front parking lot.

960 North Third Street 
Harris Concert Hall is adjacent to the Benedict Music Tent. Opened in 1993, this 500-seat hall provides a more intimate and acoustically pristine venue for chamber music performances and recitals. Harris Hall is host to various recitals, chamber music concerts, the Spotlight recital series, and master classes and provides additional rehearsal space for orchestras. Harris Hall is also accessible by the RFTA free bus service. Harris Concert Hall cannot be reserved for private use.

320 East Hyman Avenue
Fully-staged operas and Opera Scenes Master Classes are held in this historic theater located in downtown Aspen.

Aspen Opera Center (AOC) administrative offices, teaching studios, rehearsal venues, coaching spaces, and classrooms, as well as solo piano studios, are located at the Aspen School District campus on Maroon Creek Road. The public school campus is easily accessible via the Castle Maroon Bus. Only students with rehearsals or lessons in the Aspen School District facilities should be on that campus. The Aspen School District is not an open practice facility, and accessible hours will be determined by the operations department and the school district. Unauthorized students found on that campus will be reported to the Dean.

100 North 3rd Street (behind the Tent).
AMFS President and CEO Alan Fletcher hosts High Notes discussions, Wednesdays at noon. See calendar for details and venue changes.


The AMFS has three music libraries. Each of the five orchestras also has a dedicated orchestra librarian. Students must present their AMFS Student ID to check out library materials. Fines will be assessed for past due, lost, or damaged music, and deducted from their security deposit.

The Tent Library is located backstage at the Benedict Music Tent. Music for all Aspen Festival Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Symphony, and Percussion Ensemble concerts is checked out here.

Monday (CLOSED)
Tuesday–Thursday 9 am–12 pm and 1–4 pm
Friday 9 am–12 pm, 1–4 pm, and 5–8 pm
Saturday 9 am–12 pm
Sunday 9 am–12 pm, 3-6 pm

The Student Orchestra Library is located on the Bucksbaum Campus on the east side of the Edlis Neeson Hall. Music for the following ensembles can be checked out here: Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra, Aspen Opera Center Orchestra, Fourth of July music, and woodwind, brass, and percussion repertoire reading material. Assigned repertoire readings and individual orchestral parts and score loans can be checked out at here as well.

Tuesday–Sunday (hours as posted)
Monday (CLOSED)

The Chamber Music Library is located on the Bucksbaum Campus on the east side of the Edlis Neeson Hall. Music for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, solo repertoire, miniature orchestral scores, piano repertoire, vocal repertoire, and chamber music can be checked out here.

Monday - Saturday (hours as posted)
Sunday (CLOSED)

120 North Mill Street
The Pitkin County Library includes books, reference materials, an extensive CD collection, music scores as well as the archive of recorded AMFS performances dating from 1958 to the present. Students may access these materials as well as the library’s entire circulating collection by obtaining a library card with their AMFS Student ID or other appropriate picture identification.

Monday - Thursday 9 am - 8 pm
Friday - Saturday 9 am - 6 pm
Sunday 12 - 6 pm
The library is open every day with the exception of some holidays.

Box Office, Tickets, and Passes

Admission to most concerts is by ticket only, on a first-come first-served basis, as seating is limited and reserved. Students must present their AMFS Student ID. Subject to availability, students are entitled to one ticket to each performance (excluding select operas, benefits, and special events) for their own use only.

960 North Third Street
Hours: Daily 9 am–5 pm or the intermission of the evening concert.
For Harris Hall events, students can pick up tickets one hour before the event (subject to availability). For Tent events, students can pick up tickets beginning at 9 am on the day of the concert (subject to availability).  Students collect their tickets at the “Fish Bowl” located at the entrance to Harris Concert Hall.

320 East Hyman Avenue
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm and open one hour prior to each event held in the Wheeler Opera House.
Complimentary tickets to operas are not available to students, so they are encouraged to attend open opera dress rehearsals. Students will be notified should seats become available. Tickets for Wheeler Opera House events (excluding operas, benefits, and special events) may be picked up one hour before the event.

Family members of registered students may purchase a Festival Pass at a cost of $80 per week. Please see the manager at the Harris Hall Box Office for more information. All students are allotted a maximum of four complimentary tickets for distribution at their discretion for the entire summer, not including Harris Hall concerts, operas, benefits, or special events. Students may request complimentary tickets from the Harris Hall Box Office no earlier than one hour prior to the event (subject to availability).

After Registration, students must bring their stamped Registration statements to the Harris Hall Box Office to obtain their AMFS Student ID. Student IDs must be presented at the box office, dining halls, music libraries, and Internal Medicine Associates (health services) to receive student benefits, and at the Office of Student Services to receive student checks for work/study. NOTE: Lost or stolen IDs can be replaced for a fee of $15 payable at the Office of Student Services before going to the Box Office.

Mail and Communications

Email is the main source of communication for the AMFS. Students should anticipate checking their email regularly.

The Student Mail Room is found in the Foreman’s House on the Bucksbaum Campus. Hours are Monday-Friday 11:30 am-4:30 pm and Saturday 10:30 am-3:30 pm.

Students are permitted to send large items (linens, bicycles, etc.) ahead of their arrival. Packages will be accepted after June 12 and can be picked up from the Student Mail Room starting on Tuesday, June 20. Specific mailing instructions will be posted in the Student Handbook by June 7.

*Please be aware that Aspen is an isolated mountain town, and mail and packages (including Amazon Prime) often take an extra day or two to arrive.

During the summer, the Office of Student Services publishes a weekly School e-newsletter to keep students and artist-faculty informed of Festival-related events and policies. Soundings is distributed weekly on Friday mornings via email. This is the primary means of communication from the administration to the student body.

Students are encouraged to bring cell phones. Depending on the carrier, cell phone service can be limited on the Bucksbaum Campus, at the Benedict Music Tent/Harris Concert Hall, and the residence halls, but works well in town and surrounding areas. Verizon Wireless provides the best coverage in the Aspen area. Please note: telephones and land line service are not provided in the residence halls.

The AMFS provides Wi-Fi in the residence halls and on the Bucksbaum Campus. A computer lab is located in the Bucksbaum Building on the Campus as well.*

Monday–Friday 9 am–7 pm
Saturday–Sunday 10 am–4 pm

*The Aspen Music Festival and School strives to provide the best internet coverage and speed possible. Students should be aware that service in the mountains is limited and tends to be slow. AMFS Wi-Fi is intended strictly for checking email and will not accommodate streaming or large downloads. Students interested in a more sophisticated service at their residence hall may purchase private service through a local provider at their own expense.

Pitkin County Library
120 North Mill Street
The Pitkin County Library in downtown Aspen has high-speed internet access available to the public. In addition to the library, there are several “hot spots” for wireless internet in town.

Student Health Plan

All registered students of the AMFS are required to participate in the Student Health Plan and to pay the Health Service fee of $160 ($90 for Half Session students). Coverage dates are June 21-August 20.


The AMFS Student Health Plan covers visits to Aspen Clinic Internal Medicine Associates (IMA), a primary care facility that provides general health care. Students may consult with IMA about any non-emergency health or sickness concerns at no cost. All referrals made by IMA for general health care related to the student’s time in Aspen will be covered by the AMFS Student Health Plan, however referrals for testing WILL NOT be covered. Visits to the Aspen Valley Hospital Emergency Room WILL NOT be covered through the Student Health Plan. IMA will not perform routine physicals or make referrals for chiropractors, acupuncture, routine eye exams, or other non-essential medical treatments. IMA will refer students in need of physical therapy to the specialists at Aspen Valley Hospital for up to three visits at no charge. PT received without prescription/referral from IMA and performed by any provider other than Aspen Valley Hospital will not be covered by the AMFS Student Health Plan. Appointments must be scheduled in advance. Students must bring their AMFS Student ID to all visits.

The AMFS Student Health Plan also covers three visits to the Aspen Counseling Center. The Aspen Counseling Center of Colorado West Regional Mental Health Center offers guidance in addressing problems that may affect personal and mental well-being as well as musical studies. A variety of situations can be addressed including: stress, emotional problems, relationship issues, and substance abuse. Please call in advance to schedule an appointment. The Dean or the Office of Student Services can also assist with making arrangements. The first three visits are free; additional visits will be charged on a sliding scale basis. All visits and discussions are strictly confidential. Information can be shared only if a release of information form is signed. 

Also as part of the AMFS Student Health Plan, Family Planning-Community Health Services offers low-cost and/or free family planning and counseling including reproductive health education and testing.

All students (or a parent/guardian if under the age of 18) must sign the Consent to Medical Treatment form. In case of emergency, the AMFS health team would then be able to authorize immediate medical treatment.

400 West Main Street, Suite 100
Students should use the address provided, NOT what is listed through Google. Please refer to the Student Information Packet (distributed at Registration) for specific hours and additional details on coverage. Appointments must be scheduled in advance.

0405 Castle Creek Road
(opposite Marolt Ranch and adjacent to Aspen Valley Hospital)

0405 Castle Creek Road
(opposite Marolt Ranch and adjacent to Aspen Valley Hospital)

0401 Castle Creek Road
The AMFS does not offer accident coverage. Medical emergencies and after-hours care will be handled by the Aspen Valley Hospital Emergency Room. However, students will need to provide their personal health insurance information at the time of treatment.


Overuse Syndrome is the current term for performance-related injury. Temporary rest from practicing and playing is usually recommended. Physical therapy may be recommended and is available in Aspen with therapists familiar with music performance problems. The AMFS Student Health Plan offers three free visits to AVH for physical therapy if referred from IMA. PT received by any provider other than AVH will be subject to their insurance deductible.
If injury persists, the student will be referred to the Dean for an interview. Recurring problems that interfere with ensemble requirements, or other participation in the AMFS, may result in the suspension of private lessons and all other musical activities after consultation with the AMFS health team, the student’s private teacher, and the Dean.

Students with pre-existing chronic medical problems that could curtail participation in required performance activities should not attend the AMFS. Students unable to participate in AMFS activities may be dismissed to tend to their injuries in a focused manner, under their regular medical care.

Non-orchestral opportunities

For a full description of the Aspen Chamber Music Program, click here.

Master classes are hosted throughout the summer by members of the AMFS artist-faculty and visiting guest artists. All students are welcome to attend master classes. Please consult the Master Schedule and the weekly tear sheets for times and locations of regularly scheduled master classes. Announcement of special master classes by guest artists will be posted. Students interested in performing in any guest artist master class must submit a permission form with teacher approval to the Office of Student Services. Forms are due by 4:30 pm one week prior to the class.

This recital series provides students with chamber music and recital opportunities. Students wishing to perform must fill out an application. Spotlight Recital forms are available at the Office of Student Services. Please submit applications as far in advance as possible. The form must be signed by the primary teacher or coach. Upon submitting the form, students will be scheduled for an audition screening before being placed in a recital.

Through the Education and Community Programming department, the AMFS offers student performance opportunities geared towards children and families. Kids’/family activities include Tunes and Tales (stories blended with music, at the Pitkin County Library and Basalt Regional Library), Music on the Mountain (Saturdays on Aspen Mountain), Free Family Concerts with Kids’ Notes (pre-concert activities), and Gotta Move! (music learning in a playful, active environment). AMFS students interested in being hired to work with the Festival For Kids program should contact the Director of Education and Community Programming for details.

The Aspen Music Festival and School hosts several faculty-adjudicated competitions each summer: violin, piano, lower strings (viola, cello, double bass), woodwinds, harp, brass. Percussion competitions occur every other year and every other competition is shared with brass. In addition, the Aspen Conducting Academy hosts one competition for violin and one for piano. These competitions are adjudicated by the student conductors, guided by a master conductor, to allow the student conductors to gain experience in the hiring of soloists. Winners receive the opportunity to perform as soloist with the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra or the Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra.

A list of concerto repertoire will be available on the Status Page of the student's AMFS account in the Spring. Students who have won a competition within the last five years may not compete in that specific competition again. Violinists and pianists: the faculty-adjudicated competitions and the student-conductor-adjudicated competitions are different competitions, thus students may have the opportunity to win both competitions. Students are required to submit a form with their teacher’s signature by the published deadline to enter the competition; forms are available at the Office of Student Services. Students must find their own accompanist. It is suggested that students use the list of recommended pianists posted at the Office of Student Services. The AMFS covers the cost of an hour of rehearsal time with an accompanist selected from the provided list, as well as the time spent at the competition. See the concerto competition flyer for memorization guidelines. Competition order is determined by lottery and emailed to applicants. In some cases, a preliminary competition may be held in a particular instrument. Cuts will be emailed 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 signature will not be accepted.

Performing on the mall with friends is a popular way for student musicians to play music for fun while earning money. The City of Aspen and the AMFS strongly encourage students to engage in this enjoyable activity. Students must abide by City ordinances, which prohibit electric amplification in public spaces.

This program offers students and families in the community the opportunity to become acquainted over dinner in private homes. The free dinners also offer students a relaxing break from School activities. Information on how to sign up will be provided by the Office of Student Services.

This program offers students the opportunity to become acquainted with Aspen Music Festival and School President and CEO, Alan Fletcher, over a casual lunch. Students can ask questions, discuss their Aspen experience, and learn about pursuing a career in music. The free lunches also offer students a relaxing break from School activities. Information on how to sign up will be provided by the Office of Student Services.

Every Monday is a day off for students. Required musical activities resume at 5 pm; artist-faculty may offer but may not require private lessons on Mondays. Activities are often planned for these days off, including Monday morning hikes with the Residence Life staff. Longer hikes may require a reservation ahead of time. Wellness classes designed for performing musicians will be offered on select Mondays as will instrument repair classes.

Concert recordings are available to students for study and audition purposes only and may not be broadcast or resold. The purchase of recordings for AMFS performances are available ONLY to performers (students/faculty/guest artists) that participated in the requested performance and are available as a download or by CD. The cost is $10 per download code, $15 for a single CD performance, or $20 for double CD performances. Please inquire backstage at the Benedict Music Tent Dub Room to make these purchases.

Student Work Opportunities


A wide range of employment opportunities are available to students such as: ticket-seller, usher, parking crew attendant, computer lab monitor, library assistant, mail room assistant, and more. Additional information can be obtained at Student Registration.

Students who wish to work in town should contact local merchants upon arrival in Aspen. The AMFS offers a limited number of work opportunities, however most jobs are only available a few hours a week and will not provide substantial income. Hiring managers will be available at registration to speak with interested students, unless otherwise indicated below.

Members of the community and some Aspen businesses often request student performers for special occasions. Interested students should complete the Hire a Musician group leader form, available on the Status Page of the student’s AMFS account, to receive emails about community performance opportunities.

The AMFS offers private music instruction to interested individuals living in the Roaring Fork Valley through the Roaring Fork Valley Music Lessons Program and P.A.L.S. (Passes and Lessons Scholarship program) Fellowship and advanced students are traditionally hired to teach lessons for this program. For an application, please contact the Office of Student Services.

Several positions are available to sell tickets to AMFS events.

A number of library jobs are available at the Tent libraries, Chamber Music Library, the Student Orchestra Library, and the Pitkin County Library. For more information, visit the librarians upon arrival.

Ushers are needed for most concerts throughout the summer.

The student computer lab hires several monitors for the summer.

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

Positions are available to assist in managing the on campus mail room.


There are twelve Resident Assistant positions available to students age 21 and older. Individuals who are awarded these positions receive free room and board in on-campus housing. Applications must be completed within your program application.

To be considered for a Resident Assistant position you must:

  • Be 21 years of age by June 15
  • Submit the Resident Assistant Application with your Program Application
  • Apply for a full session program at the Aspen Music Festival and School and complete all requirements for admission

If you are selected for a Resident Assistant position:

  • You must check into housing on Saturday, June 17, 2017, in order to report to work by 9 am on Sunday, June 18, for orientation and training
  • You are expected to work through 4 pm on Monday, August 21, 2017


Members of the community and some Aspen businesses often request student performers for special occasions. Information regarding these opportunities is available at the Office of Student Services.

Paychecks and Other Financial Reimbursement

Students must present their AMFS Student ID to the Office of Student Services to receive paychecks. Paychecks will not be issued to students with a balance due to the AMFS; these paychecks will be credited toward the balance due.

July 7, July 21, August 4, August 18

The last paycheck will be mailed with security deposits at the end of September.


Full Session June 30 $900
  July 21 $900
  August 18 $550
  Total: $2,350
Half Session I June 30 $900
  July 21 $300
  Total: $1,200
Half Session II July 28 $900
  August 18 $300
  Total:  $1,200

Students may cash personal checks for $75 or less and student paychecks from the Aspen Music Festival and School in any amount at Alpine Bank Aspen or Airport Business Center locations. Alpine Bank requires additional identification, including fingerprinting, from any non-Alpine Bank customer for cashing a check. Below is a summary of the procedures and requirements for cashing checks at Alpine Bank (located at 600 East Hopkins, and at the Airport Business Center).

Students must show their AMFS Student ID to cash a check. Alpine Bank does not maintain a list of current students. In addition, one of the following forms of identification is required:

  1. Current State Identification Card with photo (includes Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands)
  2. Current State Driver’s License with photo (includes Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands)
  3. Current Permanent Resident/Resident Alien Card with photo
  4. United States Uniformed Services card with photo
  5. U.S. Passport card

Second party checks will not be accepted. Checks being cashed must be made out to the student. Any checks returned unpaid (“bounced checks”) and fees are the responsibility of the student, not the AMFS.

The following banks are in Aspen. Bank of America is NOT available.

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

Leaving Aspen

Regular bus service will be available through Sunday, August 20. On Monday, August 21, limited Rubey Park/AMFS Campus busses will be running. No service from Burlingame/AMFS Campus will be available.

All students must complete the online check-out form provided on the Status Page. Students living in the residence halls must also pick up a check-out form at the Student Information Center at Marolt Ranch.

If living in the residence halls, follow all check-out procedures listed in the AMFS Residence Life Handbook. Half Session I students must vacate their rooms by 10 am on Sunday, July 23. Half Session II and Full Session students must vacate their rooms by noon on Monday, August 21.

Students must complete an online student exit survey by the deadline to be eligible for a security deposit refund. The security deposit will be mailed in late September to the address that is provided on the check-out form.

Students who do not complete the check-out procedure and neglect to fill out the survey will forfeit their security deposit.

Cultural Offerings and Special Events

800-670-0792 or 970-925-1940

Admission is free.





A farmers’ market-meets-arts fair, takes place every Saturday, 8 am–3:30 pm, on Hunter and Hopkins Streets.

The Fourth of July in Aspen is celebrated with an old-fashioned hometown parade, a spectacular fireworks show, and a free band concert sponsored by the AMFS.

This popular Roaring Fork Valley event features crafts, dancing, exotic food, and continuous music. The fair takes place in July. Carbondale is located thirty miles west of Aspen.


June Festival,



Aspen FilmFest,

Rules and Regulations

The student/artist-faculty relationship is a partnership formed for the express purpose of assisting the student in his/her musical development. Students are expected to be punctual and adequately prepared for all lessons and studio/master classes.

Any change in private teacher assignment must be processed in advance through the Office of Student Services and approved by the Dean.

Extra lessons (in addition to the weekly private lessons included in tuition) should be arranged with the student’s desired teacher. Payment is negotiated and made directly to the teacher.

If a student or artist-faculty member must cancel a scheduled lesson, notification should take place at least twenty-four hours in advance. If this requirement is not met by the student, the artist-faculty member is not obligated to schedule a make-up lesson unless the student has a doctor’s note. If an artist-faculty member cancels at any time, they must make up the lesson. Refunds will not be given for scheduled lessons that have not been taken, regardless of circumstances.

All students are expected to maintain a professional attitude and to be punctual to rehearsals. Attendance will be taken at all rehearsals. Two unexcused absences may result in expulsion from the AMFS with no refund of fees. Students will not be excused from rehearsals to attend religious services.

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 at the top of the service and until all pieces to which they have been assigned have been rehearsed.

Regularly scheduled orchestra rehearsals have priority over private lessons, classes, master classes, and other rehearsals. Class attendance and private lessons must not conflict with regularly scheduled performing ensemble rehearsals.

The AMFS health care providers will be asked to confirm any illness as a cause of absence. Artist-faculty members are not empowered to excuse students from orchestra assignments. If a student presents a doctor's note for an illness or injury, all parties including orchestra managers, private teachers, chamber coaches, the Schedule Coordinator, 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. Unexcused absences and frequent tardiness will 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 are expected to register on the designated days and to be in Aspen for the duration of their session. Short-term absences may be approved for extraordinary cases and only for the purposes of professional development or family emergency. Students will not be excused to attend another festival, for paid gigs, weddings, family reunions, and the like. Generally, absences for longer than seven days will NOT be approved. Students may be asked to reduce the total days of absence for the request to be considered. Except in the case of family emergency, absences must be pre-approved.

The AMFS promotes personal wellness on Mondays. With minor exceptions for special performances and holidays, required musical activities are not scheduled before 5 pm. Faculty may offer but may not require private lessons on Mondays before 5pm.

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. To record, obtain a Video Recording Permission Form from the Operations Office. The form must be completed with ALL signatures (performers, conductors, masterclass coach, etc.) and returned to an operations assistant 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 tape.

Students of the Aspen Music Festival and School have the opportunity to benefit from influential members and organizations of the arts and education community. Oftentimes, the AMFS collaborates with these institutions to help facilitate significant arts and academic opportunities. The AMFS strives to impact the professional lives of our students and by enrolling, the student agrees to allow the AMFS to share their materials and information with these organizations.

The possession or consumption (and being in the presence) of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on the AMFS Campus, even if the student is of legal age. Along with being a dry campus, 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.

The possession or consumption (or being in the presence) of controlled substances is prohibited on the AMFS Campus, even if the student is of legal age. In accordance with the Omnibus Drug Bill legislated by Congress in 1988, the AMFS maintains a drug-free environment. Under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. Use and/or possession of any amount of marijuana is a criminal activity under federal law and will result in immediate disciplinary action. This policy applies to all use and/or possession, whether such activities occur on - or off - campus, whether such activities occur at a school-sponsored event or elsewhere, and whether the student has a medical prescription.

Distribution of alcohol or any controlled substance by sale or gift to persons under the age of 21 is forbidden and unlawful. The AMFS reserves the right to search bags, rooms, and other personal belongings if there is suspicion of alcohol or other items not permitted on the AMFS Campus.

The Bucksbaum Campus, Burlingame, Marolt Ranch, 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 include, but are not limited to, cigars, cigarettes, pipes or any device (e.g. e-cigarettes) or material which is lighted or inhaled. Smoking for the purpose of this policy shall include the use of ecigarettes, electronic vaping devices, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems or such devices which vaporize substances to simulate smoking.

Possession, storage, and/or use of a firearm of any description (including, but not limited to, air rifles, airsoft guns, paint ball guns, pellet guns, pistols, ammunition, gunpowder, etc.) on the AMFS Campus 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, explosives 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 the AMFS Campus.

The AMFS admits students of any race, color, creed, sex, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, family responsibility, national origin, ancestry, handicap, or religion 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.

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.

For purposes of enforcing this policy, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome or unwanted conduct of a sexual nature (verbal 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 Johnston, Vice President and Dean of Students
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 faculty members.

Pre-existing relationships of this nature should be disclosed to the hiring manger, General Manager, Dean, Director of Finance, 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.


  • 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.

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO