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 aspiring professional musicians to serve as Festival Fellows in Boulder, Colorado, during the Colorado Music Festival, providing them with 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.

2024 Fellows

Quinton Folks, conducting

Quinton Folks, conducting

Quinton Folks is a young American conductor and educator currently based in Baltimore, Maryland. His dedication to creating an inclusive and equitable environment within the orchestral community remains at the heart of his work.

Recently, Quinton completed a conducting fellowship at the National Orchestral Institute, where he collaborated with student composers and worked alongside renowned conductors Mei-Ann Chen and his mentor, Marin Alsop.

Throughout his career, Quinton has honed his skills through numerous opportunities, including assisting and covering guest conductors with ensembles such as the São Paulo Symphony at their Carnegie Hall Debut and the Baltimore Symphony. Additionally, he has worked with the
Peabody Concert Orchestra and the University Symphony at William & Mary. Quinton has also had the fortune to have collaborated with distinguished composers and conductors such as Norman Huyhn of the Bozeman Symphony, Kevin Putz, and Angelica Castello.

He believes that classical music is not a glass case. A belief which has led to his involvement in theater productions and diverse multimedia projects that combine music, visual arts, and dance, along with cross-genre collaborations over the years.

Quinton holds a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University as a student of Molly Sharp and received his Graduate Performance Diploma in Conducting from the Peabody Institute as a student of Marin Alsop and Joseph Young. Outside
of work, he indulges his passion for writing.

Myriade String Quartet

Myriade String Quartet

Russell Iceberg, violin
Julia Mizroev, violin
Cynthia Blanchon, viola 
Braden McConnell, cello

The Myriade String Quartet was founded in 2021 at the McGill Schulich School of Music, based on the individual musicians’ love for the string quartet repertoire as well as promoting excellence in Canadian and diverse repertoire. Currently based in Montréal, Québec, the quartet is under the tutelage of professor André Roy, while also having been mentored by Ani Kavafian and Mark Steinberg. The Myriade String Quartet have recently been selected to participate in the Trondheim International String Quartet competition, the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, as well as having been selected as a senior string quartet for the Montreal International String Quartet Academy. As artists in residence at the Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival, the quartet provided lecture-recitals with engagements that followed in 2022 which included collaborations with Charles Richard-Hamelin, Scott St-John, Angela Park, and Sharon Wei of the New Orford String Quartet. This season’s highlights include the Lakeshore Chamber Music Society, recitals at Kin Musique, Le Baptême series, a residency as part of the 2023 Unionville Music Academy Competition, and the quartet fellowship at the Colorado Music Festival. 

Jahleel Smith, bass trombone

Jahleel Smith, bass trombone

Jahleel Smith was the Bass Trombonist of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra during the 2021-22 season. Mr. Smith hails from Atlanta, Georgia and entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2014 to study bass trombone with Blair Bollinger of The Philadelphia Orchestra. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full- tuition scholarships, and Mr. Smith was a Crown Holdings, Inc. Annual Fellow. While on tour with The Curtis Symphony Orchestra and maestro Osmo Vanska, the orchestra performed concerts and residencies in Finland, Germany, London, Austria and Poland.

Following his studies at The Curtis Institute of Music, Mr. Smith went on to Indiana University’s Jacob’s School of Music where he was a distinguished recipient of the Jacobs Fellowship and graduated in the degree program for the Master of Music degree while studying with Dr. Denson Paul Pollard. While attending IU, Mr. Smith was a finalist for the Brass concerto competition for two years as well as a finalist for several job auditions including those with the San Antonio Symphony, US Army Concert and Ceremonial Bands as well as being a semi-finalist for the Principal Bass Trombone audition with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Smith has performed in Carnegie Hall with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and has been invited to play with The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Mr. Smith has attended The Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan; the Boston University Tanglewood Institute; and the Cleveland Trombone Seminar, where he was awarded the Jiggs Wigham Scholarship for best under-21 audition recording. He has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, the Louisville Orchestra and the Classical/Pops All- Star Orchestra in Barbados. Mr. Smith was also a finalist for the Edward Kleinhammer Orchestral Bass Trombone Competition at the International Trombone Festival in 2016.


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.