Graduate Wind Conducting

Master of Music, Instrumental Conducting Specialization


This program is committed to musical excellence with a curriculum designed to build a well-rounded conductor/teacher, using the musical and personal strengths of the graduate conducting student. The M.M., Instrumental Conducting Specialization requires a two-year residency.

By the completion of the program, students will have developed advanced, personal conducting skills and techniques that are appropriate to a variety of musical needs. The student will learn effective rehearsal techniques, score preparation, and become a knowledgeable scholar of important instrumental and choral scores representing repertoire of various music periods and secular and sacred styles.

The conducting degrees accept a limited number of students who pursue a variety of professional goals, including education and directors of choral/instrumental ensembles. Students who are full-time music educators at the middle/high school levels will be considered if they have three years prior teaching experience, and are presently conducting an ensemble(s). Students who are not public school educators must show a minimum of three years of full-time music/conducting employment and be presently conducting a high school, religious, or community ensemble.

To develop the musicianship and skills that will be important for the student's future professional success, graduate courses are organized in the areas of music literature and theory, the choral/vocal instrument, conducting, and teaching.

Wind Conducting Area

The Colorado State University Master of Music degree program with an emphasis in wind conducting is a two year residency program in a large, nationally recognized collegiate band program. Graduate students in this area gain valuable experience running all aspect of a comprehensive collegiate band program, including rehearsal techniques, performance experience, organizational skills, logistics, and recruiting. Graduate wind conducting students work with all band ensembles on campus, classical and athletic. As part of their coursework, students rehearse and conduct two performances with each of our three concerts bands, prepare and conduct a chamber wind recital, and write a thesis style “conductors analysis” document in addition to completing regular MM coursework. All wind conducting graduate students study conducting each semester with Dr. Rebecca Phillips, Director of Bands, complete two wind literature seminar courses taught by Dr. Phillips, and study one additional semester of conducting with Professor Wes Kenney, our orchestra director. It is expected that all applicants who wish to receive consideration will have a minimum of three years band teaching experience at the secondary school level. More information about the School of Music graduate program can be located here.

The wind conducting studio has a three-graduate student capacity and we anticipate one opening beginning in the 2021-2022 academic school year. Wind graduate students are offered an assistantship that includes the following (details subject to change based on Board of Governors annual guidelines):

  1. 9-12 hours per semester of tuition for up to four consecutive fall/spring semesters
  2. Approximately $15,210 annual stipend*
  3. Health insurance costs covered as dictated by the university**
  4. Student fees are not covered by the assistantship. University semester fees are approximately $1,500.00. Updated information can be found here.

*All stipends are taxable - the university considers graduate assistants to be employees of the university.

**Please get more information about graduate student health insurance here.

Guidelines for graduate application consideration into the wind conducting program:

Step 1: February 15 Deadline

Complete the Graduate Degree Program Application by February 15 here.

Step 2:

Applicants who successfully complete Step 1 will be reviewed by the conducting faculty and notified by February 26th if they are invited for an on-campus interview and live audition process (if COVID-19 permits). These auditions will take place in March. Applicants will be notified of their results by April 1.

Full tuition for up to 12 credits is covered, whether you are in-state or out-of-state. All students who are out-of-state are required to begin their residency process immediately upon arrival so that they are in-state students by their second year.

We are looking for a fine musician who has developed their craft in both conducting and on their instrument; a strong academic student with a good record from their undergraduate studies; someone who is literate in both music theory and history (not off the charts, just simply informed); a person with a strong work ethic; someone with at least three years of teaching experience - students get so much more out of the degree when they know what they don’t know; a kind person who is a team player and really cares about music and music education.