Colorado State University offers an outstanding program in graduate conducting, with instrumental and choral specializations; undergraduate conducting courses are also available. CSU provides a nationally-renowned conducting faculty, superb facilities designed for conducting instruction, and high quality ensembles for laboratory experiences.
Students take a rigorous academic program in theory, composition, history, orchestration, and secondary instruments which prepares them for the level of musicianship required of the modern conductor. Additionally, students perform in high quality ensembles, such as choir, wind ensemble, symphonic band, orchestra, and jazz bands, which are directed by some of the finest conductors in the nation. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of conducting in a beginning conducting class in the fall of their junior year. In the spring of the junior year, students take an advanced conducting class focusing in either instrumental or vocal conducting. Students receive hands-on conducting experience with the wind ensemble, symphonic band, choirs, and in their student-teaching (music education).
CSU offers a Master of Music, Choral Conducting Specialization and Master of Music, Instrumental Conducting Specialization. Graduate students take rigorous academic coursework, participate in weekly lessons with their principal teachers, and receive opportunities to conduct the school's major ensembles. Advanced conducting courses are taught by James Kim (choral), Wes Kenney (orchestral), and Rebecca Phillips (band). Opportunities exist for graduate conductors to conduct repertoire from symphonic, operatic, and theatrical repertoire. In addition, the curriculum includes developing a score preparation system, Laban method of movement, and rehearsal techniques. The school is well-located to take advantage of a multitude of musical enrichment opportunities in the region. Graduate students in conducting are eligible for several teaching assistantships, which provide an opportunity for direct supervision of choral and instrumental ensembles in the department, as well as the chance to assist in the direction of all the major ensembles at CSU, including the choirs, bands, orchestras, opera, jazz bands, marching band, and pep bands.
A personal audition is required for admission into the band, orchestra, or choral graduate conducting program.
Distance Graduate Degree with Summer Residency
The Master of Music, Music Education—Conducting Specialization is an exciting and unique degree designed for music educators, enabling students to earn a master’s degree while continuing to work full-time. With the exception of a two-week summer seminar held on the CSU campus, all course work can be completed online or using your own school orchestra, choir, or band as your conducting laboratory.