Colorado Springs Conservatory (CSC) is the place where kids can cultivate their creative essence and flourish in the performing arts. At the conservatory, there are many directions that a child can take to feel fully expressed – be it theater or music – but they are given all the curriculum and support necessary to acquire a deep understanding of the field.
A conservatory is different from in-school theater or music class, because complete focus is placed on each individual rather than a group. In this way, every young performer can find their unique voice and develop significantly in their craft. At the same time, kids are afforded countless performance opportunities in the community.
“All of the performance opportunities are extraordinary, it’s not just one recital or show a year,” said Linda Weise, Oberlin Conservatory and Julliard School-educated Founding CEO of CSC. “Kids gig for the chamber, the rotary, military installations, medical intuitions, collegial partners, nonprofits, the zoo and many other organizations throughout the community.” This provides exposure and experience, and builds passion and confidence – all while kids get to know their community in a meaningful way.
Enrollment for the fall After School Programs is now open. These programs prepare students for life and college through the arts, and are open to kids Pre K to 12th grade. 100 percent of students who participate in the CORE after-school program at CSC attend the colleges, universities and conservatories of their choice, often with significant scholarships. Many alumni pursue careers in the arts, go on to Broadway and Off-Broadway, win Tony awards, and join national touring companies and arts organizations. Others excel in a wide range of professions including technology, medicine and the humanities.
The Novice Program is open to preschoolers to second graders. The program is designed for young children who are just beginning to explore their creative potential. General music classes with emphasis on violin or piano, theater/performance class, and 30-minute private lessons in piano or violin are provided. “We present young performers with all of the possibilities, because sometimes kids don’t know what they can do until you put them in water and say let’s swim here. Some kids stay in all of the swim lanes until they graduate, others find one that feels right, we support and help guide them in their natural unfoldment,” said Weise. No audition is required for the Novice Program.
The CORE Program is for second to 12th graders. This comprehensive music and performance education includes piano class, studio class, music theory, recording arts, theater, private lessons and more. Students also have a unique and special opportunity to learn The Alexander Technique from an AmSAT certified Alexander Technique teacher. This helps students identify and lose the harmful habits and stress that has built up, and learn to move more freely. No audition is required for the CORE program.
There is also a COMPANY Program designed to provide a more intense and advanced experience to those students dedicated to their artistic endeavors. This program is open to all fourth to 12th graders, who are given placement through a mentor recommendation or audition.
Across all programs, collaboration is encouraged. “The nature of this beast is collaboration. Not only do we collaborate with civic and artistic partners in region, but we encourage kids to cross-pollinate,” said Weise. “For example a kid in recording arts can connect with a kid in the jazz program, get together and lay down some cool stuff. That’s the way the industry and the world is going, so we encourage that. And it gives kids a sense of confidence and an understanding that we’re better when we work together.”
The best way to learn about the programs and what Colorado Springs Conservatory is all about is to attend the Open House on Saturday, August 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event will provide the opportunity for kids and parents to ask questions, meet teachers, watch performances and hear students speak about their experiences. It is set up in a way where potential students are given a tour by current students around their age – so they can better grasp what the classes are like.
To learn more, visit ColoradoSpringsConservatory.org.