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.

Study With

Wes Kenney

Professor of Music; Conducting; Director of Orchestras

(970) 491-6912

James Kim

Assistant Professor of Music; Director of Choral Activities

(970) 491-6515

Rebecca Phillips

Associate Professor of Music; Conducting; Director of Bands

(970) 491-1584

T. André Feagin

Assistant Professor of Music; Assistant Director of Bands

(970) 491-5973

Degree Programs

Undergraduate Conducting

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).

Graduate Conducting

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.


Conducting Events

Conducting Seminar Final Concert

July 18, 2020 at 7:30 PM
The seminar continues its fun tradition of presenting a delightful concert version of a popular operetta or Broadway musical. The project serves as the master’s thesis for working music educators from around the world who participate in the Summer Conducting Seminar for three consecutive summers.

Conducting News

The Merry Widow program cover

Conducing Seminar to Perform The Merry Widow Operetta


Summer. A time when lawnmowers are rumbling, the grills are fired up, and children laugh and play as their parents struggle to apply sunscreen. While the long days of sunshine, festivals, and fireworks are floating by, students in the Colorado State University Summer Conducting Seminar, the residency component of CSU’s Master of Music, Music Education […]

Rebecca Phillips pictured conducting

April 2016 Faculty Notes


Last fall, Assistant Professor of Music History K. Dawn Grapes had her annotated bibliography/research guide to “John Dowland” recently published online by Oxford University Press in Oxford Bibliographies. In her introduction, Dr. Grapes describes Dowland (b. 1563–d. 1623) as an internationally known English musician of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. As the most […]