Pre-College String Quartet Program


Now in its 16th year, the pre-college chamber music program at CSU gives string students from Northern Colo. the opportunity to work in small ensembles, such as trios and quartets, and receive weekly coaching from the CSU string faculty (Dr. Ron Francois, Professor Leslie Stewart, Professor Barbara Thiem, and Professor Margaret Miller).

Participants in the program receive eight weekly coaching sessions each semester, with a master class mid-session, and a final concert.  In the spring semester, the program ends with a weekend of coaching and concerts with the Borromeo String Quartet, in residence at the New England Conservatory.

"As string players, chamber music is one of the most musically satisfying experiences" says Margaret Miller.  "Students learn how to operate on their own, without a conductor.  They work on communication skills as well as musical skills, some of which is non-verbal. It's very empowering, and helps young string players be more active in their school orchestra program. It's quite remarkable how they learn part of a work in a short amount of time."

For spring, 2019, the Pre-College Chamber Music Festival is April 26—27.  Ensembles from along the Front Range are invited to attend two intense days with the Borromeo Quartet and the CSU string faculty. The festival also includes an open rehearsal with the Borromeo Quartet, as well as master classes, the Borromeo String Quartet Concert, and the student final concert. This event has become a highlight event for a number of students, from the Front Range, and further.

Eligibility: The program is open to established high school quartets, or individuals who will be placed into a quartet. Proximity to CSU is important as students will be asked to come to campus once a week for 8 weeks. Rehearsal times will be arranged for each group.


  • Applications for the the spring session are due by Feb. 11.
  • The cost for the 8 session program is $125 per person.
  • Click here for the form (PDF).


  • Session Dates (Registration required): Feb. 25 — April 27, 2019
  • Public Master Class (FREE and open to observation): TBA
  • Pre-College Chamber Music Festival: April 26—27, 2019
  • Borromeo String Quartet Concert: Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 4 p.m.
  • Masterclass with Borromeo String Quartet (FREE and open to observation): Saturday, April 27, 10:30 a.m.
  • Final Concert (FREE): Saturday, April 27, 3 p.m., Organ Recital Hall


Ronald Francois

Associate Professor of Music; Violin, Chamber Music; Coordinator of Strings Area

(970) 491-3160