Our Commitment to Education

Our music school and Festival Fellows program are just some of the ways we further our mission to expand access to musical education in Colorado.

Founded in 1995, the Center for Musical Arts is a community music school dedicated to expanding access to quality music education regardless of age, ability, cultural background or financial means. The Center for Musical Arts provides quality, creative music-making opportunities to over 550 students each week in Lafayette, Colorado, and is a full member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. In 2009, the Center merged with the Colorado Music Festival to provide the community with the highest quality music education and performance.

Festival Fellows

The Festival Fellows Program brings eight aspiring professional musicians to serve as Festival Fellows in Boulder, Colorado, during the Colorado Music Festival. Created with the intent to diversify the field of classical music, the Festival Fellows program gives aspiring musicians from diverse backgrounds access to world-class guest artist mentors as well as performance experience within our Festival orchestra and chamber music settings.

The Fellows program includes coaching from illustrious guest chamber musicians, seminars led by the Festival’s highly qualified organizational leaders, and private instruction from Music Director Peter Oundjian. Fellows perform a weekly concert within the ranks of the Festival Orchestra, with a final quartet performance at the end of their Festival residence.

This program is kindly supported by the SeiSolo Foundation.

2022 Fellows

Chava Appiah, cello

Chava Appiah is a third-year Cello Fellow at the New World Symphony. Her performance experience spans from Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall to more intimate settings such as Emmanuel Church of Boston and The Cleveland Institute of Art. She has collaborated with notable artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Jaime Laredo, Emanuel Ax, Alisa Weilerstein, Geoff Nuttall, and Chris Thile, as well as conductors Valery Gergiev, Herbert Blomstedt, Andris Nelsons, and Leonard Slatkin. Prior to joining NWS, she led a varied freelance career in Boston.

More About Chava

Kate Arndt, violin

Violinist Katherine Arndt, from Boston, Massachusetts is a full-time student at Yale School of Music, where she is pursuing her Masters of Music, studying with Ani Kavafian. She recently graduated from New England Conservatory of Music under teacher Miriam Fried.

An avid chamber musician, Kate has attended several intensive chamber music programs including Music@Menlo, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Taos School of Music and others. Her former group, the Isolde Quartet, was featured on NPR’s From the Top for the 15th anniversary taping in Jordan Hall, and the group also received an honorable mention at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

More About Kate

Justin Goldsmith, cello

Cellist Justin Goldsmith was born and raised in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. As a founding member of the award-winning Vera Quartet, he has won awards and held residencies across four continents. He began violin lessons at the age of 4 and cello lessons at the age of 9. Chamber music, and the string quartet in particular, became a prominent interest early on in his musical life – according to play count on iTunes, the music he listened to most in high school was Radiohead and Beethoven’s Razumovsky quartets.

More About Justin

Byungchan Lee, violin

Byungchan Lee garnered international attention as prizewinner of the inaugural 2009 Yuri Yankelevitch International Violin Competition, and was one of CBC’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” in 2017. He appeared as soloist with the McGill and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, performed at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, and played alongside Stevie Wonder in Montreal. He was featured in Edward Burtynsky’s “In the Wake of Progress” filmed at Yonge-Dundas Square for Luminato Festival Toronto. 

More About Byungchan

Ka-Yeon Lee, violin

Ka-Yeon Lee is a second-year Violin Fellow at the New World Symphony. She is the winner of the Aspen Music Festival Violin Competition and the special prize winner of the Henri Marteau International Violin Competition. As a soloist, Ms. Lee has performed with the Aspen Music Festival’s American Academy of Conducting Orchestra, the Summit Symphony, the University of Cincinnati Orchestra, and the Daejeon Philharmonic, among others. She has made her solo appearances in many countries worldwide, including Austria, China, England, Germany, Russia, South Korea, and the United States.

More About Ka-Yeon

Jacquelyn O'Brien, viola

Jacquelyn O’Brien is a first-year Viola Fellow at the New World Symphony. She studied with Mark Jackobs at the Cleveland institute of Music (CIM), where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the five-year overlap program while receiving additional guidance from Robert Vernon, focusing on audition preparation.

Passionate about orchestral playing, Ms. O’Brien has enjoyed substitute positions with various Midwestern regional orchestras such as the Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony and Firelands Symphony. She is also an associate musician with the Columbus Symphony.

More About Jacquelyn

Grace Takeda, viola

Ms. Takeda’s musical endeavours have taken her into various different music genres including jazz, baroque, contemporary and free improvisation. A native of North Vancouver, Canada, Grace began her studies on the violin at the age of four after being awed and inspired by Sailor Neptune, a character from her formerly favourite tv show Sailor Moon, playing Boccherini’s Minuet. At the age of six, she started taking piano lessons, following in her older sister’s footsteps.

More About Grace

James Zabawa-Martinez, violin

James Zabawa-Martinez is a first-year Violin Fellow at the New World Symphony. He has performed recitals around Europe, Central America and the United States and has been selected to participate in the Sphinx, Music Teachers National Association and Saint Paul Chamber competitions.

Mr. Zabawa-Martinez previously served as concertmaster of the Buffalo Community and University of Minnesota Symphony orchestras and guest concertmaster for the Mississippi Valley Orchestra, among others.

More About James


Audition Process

The Festival Fellows positions were filled by the Festival through an invitation-only audition process in collaboration with faculty at America’s top conservatories. All Fellows receive professional experience working in an intensive environment comparable to that of a full-time orchestra.

Plan Your Festival Visit


Visiting Boulder

The Festival performs in beautiful Boulder, Colorado — a breathtaking location full of nature, culture, cuisine, art, and more.

Learn About Our Educational Programs


Festival Fellows

Meet the Festival Fellows: eight aspiring professional musicians who receive coaching and performance opportunities through the Festival and its guest artists.

Center for Musical Arts

This excellent community music school is also the educational arm of our organization.

Your Gift Makes the Difference

Thank you for helping us to keep the music playing.