Our graduate program offers a student-centered environment designed to help each individual gain the tools, knowledge, and training necessary to succeed in any position as an instrumental conductor. Based in a belief that conducting is comprehensive musicianship, students build on strengths in their current skill set while developing new musicianship and conducting skills. For more specific information on the structure of the curriculum, see the Curriculum page.
While all students have a speciality in orchestral or wind conducting, the program is built around a more complete understanding of instrumental conducting. All students, regardless of specialty, have experiences conducting large and small ensembles of winds, percussion, and strings. Beyond the curricular requirements, students are also encouraged to explore additional conducting opportunities outside their specialty based on individual interest.
Podium time for graduate students in instrumental conducting is significant. Typically, each student will conduct at least once per semester with one of the faculty-led ensembles (Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, or Sinfonia). In addition, doctoral students in wind conducting lead the University Band with one serving as teacher of record. Other conducting opportunities during the year include work in conducting lab (see Curriculum for more detail) and may also include conducting Casella Sinfonietta, individual conducting recitals, leading an ensemble for an undergraduate or graduate student recital, and more based on student interest. In addition, one DMA student typically serves as teacher of record for one section of our undergraduate conducting sequence each semester.