September 17, 2020

Dear Conservatory Faculty, Students and Staff,
Since the pandemic began in March, CIM’s President’s Council has committed to creating and supporting policies that are as safe as possible for all members of our community. We have consulted countless studies, webinars and articles, and we continue to monitor developing research as results become available.
When we began the semester on August 10, we agreed that we would begin very cautiously, especially regarding activities where a secure mask cannot be worn. We also committed to reevaluating all available evidence after the Labor Day holiday. We hoped that preliminary results of studies from Colorado State University, University of Colorado, Johns Hopkins University and others would provide compelling and comprehensive enough evidence that some relaxation of our protocols would be possible. Unfortunately, that evidence has not yet been reported. While preliminary studies have suggested some mitigation strategies, such as bell covers for brass players, special masks for wind and brass players and masked singing for vocalists, these studies have not addressed the risks of cumulative aerosol build-up associated with ensemble playing, and most studies have released only preliminary results that have not been peer reviewed.
As a result, CIM’s leadership has determined that we need to continue our current protocols for required distancing for all community members and additional restrictions for those who cannot wear a mask while playing or singing indoors. As a reminder, those are:
  • Masks are required at all times for those instrumentalists who can wear them, even when rehearsing and performing.
  • While wearing a mask, 6 feet of distance must still be observed at all times.
  • If you cannot wear a mask while playing or singing, a minimum of 15 feet of distance is required between you and those around you while playing or singing indoors.
  • The posted maximum occupancies of all studios and classrooms are still in effect.
As a result of the continuation of these protocols, please note the following:
  • CIM Orchestra rehearsals and recordings will continue to be string-only.
  • Woodwind, brass and voice recitals that must occur during the fall semester can be performed in Kulas but require 15 feet of distance between performers and will be livestreamed only. Each half of the recital can be no longer than 30 minutes and there must be a 15-minute intermission.
  • Woodwind, brass and voice chamber music may also occur in Kulas so long as 15 feet of distance is kept between musicians while rehearsing.
  • One-on-one lessons where masks are not possible still need to occur in the zero latency studios, outdoors or in a location where 15 feet of distance is possible.
While we know this may be disappointing news, these are critical strategies in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our community and ultimately, we must make decisions that put the safety and well-being of our community members as our top priority.
Judy Bundra, PhD, Chief Academic Officer and Dean
Maddi Tolliver, Senior Director, Artistic and Facilities Operations