Pre-College String Quartet Program


For nearly two decades, the pre-college chamber music program at CSU has given string students from Northern Colorado 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."

The program concludes with the Pre-College Chamber Music Festival, held each year in April.  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 in Feb.
  • The cost for the 8 session program is $125 per person.
  • Registration form for 2022 is coming


  • Session Dates: 8 weeks Feb. - April
  • Public Master Class (FREE and open to observation): TBA
  • Pre-College Chamber Music Festival: one weekend in April
  • Borromeo String Quartet Concert: TBA
  • Masterclass with Borromeo String Quartet (FREE and open to observation): TBA
  • Final Concert (FREE): TBA


Ronald Francois

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

(970) 491-3160