The CSU violin studios comprise a wide variety of students from diverse musical and cultural backgrounds.

As students of music, the focus of concentration is on the various degrees we offer, namely, the undergraduate degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Music Therapy, Music Education, Composition, Jazz Studies, and Performance, and graduate degrees in performance, education, music therapy, and conducting.

Many of our violin students hail from Colorado, while a good number come from out of state. Our numerous international students add to the diversity within the violin studio; students from Mexico, Korea, and China have made significant contributions to our rich musical environment.

In addition to weekly violin lessons and studio classes, violin students gain valuable experience by performing in chamber music groups such as string quartets, and mixed chamber ensembles. Participation in larger ensembles such as the University Symphony Orchestra, the Sinfonia chamber orchestra, and the opera orchestra adds to this wide range of activities. Masterclasses by visiting professional guest artist are also a regular feature of our program.

Our students are dedicated and passionate about the violin and committed to being the best musicians they can be, proudly producing many finalists in the annual concerto competition!

As senior member of the violin faculty, and head of the string division, Dr. Ron Francois teaches most of the violin students at CSU (by audition only), and Ms. Leslie Stewart, coordinator of the string pedagogy program, also teaches our growing body of violin students.

With this team of dedicated violin teachers, great degree programs, and a world class facility, CSU is a great place to study for a successful career in music.

Audition Requirements

Bachelor of Music, Performance

  • First movement of a standard concerto
  • Two contrasting movements of a Solo Sonata or Partita by J.S. Bach
  • Two scales: one major, one minor (three octaves - fast/slow)
  • Memorization is strongly encouraged for the concerto portion of the audition.

Bachelor of Music, Music Education; and Bachelor of Music, Music Therapy

  • First movement of a concerto (or equivalent)
  • Contrasting piece
  • Two scales: one major, one minor (three octaves - fast/slow)
  • Memorization is strongly encouraged for the concerto portion of the audition.

Bachelor of Music, Composition

  • Two contrasting pieces
  • Two scales: one major, one minor (three octaves - fast/slow)
  • Prospective composition students will interview for admission to the composition degree at the end of their freshman year; students submit a portfolio of at least two compositions completed in the past five years during the interview.

Bachelor of Arts; and Music Minor

  • Two contrasting pieces
  • Two scales: one major, one minor (three octaves - fast/slow)



Master of Music, Performance Option

  • All major and minor scales and arpeggios
  • Two contrasting movements of a standard Concerto
  • Two contrasting movements of a solo Bach Sonata or Partita
Master of Music, Music Education Specialization and Master of Music, Music Therapy Specialization
  • First movement of a standard concerto including cadenza if one is written
  • Two movements of a Solo Bach sonata or partita
  • Two scales—one major, one minor—three octaves (fast/slow)
  • One Etude chosen from: Rode 24 Caprices, Dont Etudes, op. 35, Gavinies 24 Studies

Memorization for graduate auditions is strongly encouraged for the Concerto portion of the audition.

Alumni and Student News

Submit your good news to Class Notes.

  • Francisco Barradas Galvan (M.M. '14) Mr. Galvan's studies at CSU were funded by the 'Fulbright' Garcia Robles program and he completed his studies with distinction. Having lead one of CSU's graduate string quartets, Mr. Galvan has been granted admission to the D.M.A. program at the University of Western Ontario, Canada where he will study violin performance on a full scholarship.
  • Adrian Barrera Ramos (M.M.) On a Mexican study grant, Mr. Ramos took a prize in the CSU concerto competition in Spring 2014. As first violinist in the Graduate String Quartet, Mr. Ramos is already in demand as a soloist in Mexico with several invitations to perform. He will complete his MM in the spring of '15
  • Hannah Barnes (B.M. '12) Ms. Barnes held the post of Concertmaster for the CSU Symphony orchestra for three years. She also took a prize in the CSU concerto competition and is now a professional freelancer with several Colorado Symphony orchestras.
  • Patrick Weseman (B.M. '11) Patrick's flair for human relations has guided him into the new LEAP Master program offered at CSU. This “Leadership-Entrepreneurship-Arts Advocacy and the Public" degree expands on his experience as a musician, giving him the perfect background for this new exciting career.
  • Wyatt True (M.M. ' 10) Mr. True lead one of CSU's graduate string quartets and has recently completed his DMA at the University of Oregon.
  • Chris Jusell (B.M. '08) Mr. Jusell won the CSU concerto competition in 2008 and went on to earn the concertmaster position with the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Jesse Maurer (B.M. Ed, '07) Since graduating, Mr. Maurer has been working as music educator in the Widefield school district in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Guest Artists


Fabián López, University of North Carolina

Arkady Fomin, Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Elizabeth Pitcairn, The Red Violin;


Boris Garlitsky, Paris Conservatoire, Concertmaster of London Philharmonic

Claude Sim, Colorado Symphony Orchestra;


Michael Davis, Concertmaster, Louisville Symphony;

Alessandro Cervo,


Jeri Jorgensen, Colorado College

William Knuth, Duo Sonidos;


Annual Guests

Nicholas Kitchen, Borromeo String Quartet;

Kristopher Tong, Borromeo String Quartet;