Master of Music, Music Education Conducting Specialization

The Master of Music, Music Education – Conducting Specialization is an exclusive online degree program at Colorado State University. The program features the annual Summer Conducting Seminar, the residency portion of the degree, with additional courses offered online during the school year.

Classes engage current middle school and high school choir, band, and orchestra directors seeking to further their knowledge and skills while earning a master’s degree, completing the majority of the course work during just three summers. Hands-on sessions are taught by CSU faculty and prestigious pedagogues from around the country. Curriculum focuses on advanced conducting, score preparation, rehearsal strategies, curriculum development, and more. Participants have daily conducting opportunities, in all three disciplines, with workshop ensembles and projects are designed for immediate implementation in your teaching program.



Applications will be accepted until Feb. 1. Please apply online through the Graduate School website. Space is limited.

  • 2019 Summer Seminar Tuition: $725 per credit (4 credits) plus $1500 fee; total is $4400

For more information contact:
Leslie Stewart, Director
(970) 219-5985

Summer Conducting Seminar for Music Educators: July 3-20, 2019

2019 Summer Seminar Curriculum

  • Advanced Conducting
  • Score Preparation
  • Rehearsal Strategies
  • Laban Method for Expressive Conducting
  • Repertoire as Curriculum
  • String Techniques
  • Choral Rehearsal Technique

Summer Conducting Seminar Final Concert
The Gondoliers by Gilbert & Sullivan
Saturday, July 20, 7:30 p.m., Griffin Concert Hall

2019 Seminar Faculty

Wes Kenney, Director of Orchestras, Colorado State University

Wes Kenney headshot_sotaWes Kenney is director of Orchestras at CSU where he conducts the University Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Opera productions, and teaches graduate conducting. Mr. Kenney is also music director of the Fort Collins Symphony, Opera Fort Collins, and Denver Young Artists Orchestra.  A graduate of the University of Southern California, Mr. Kenney earned his Master of Music degree in Conducting from San Francisco State University. Previous academic posts include director of Orchestras at SFSU and the College of William and Mary in Virginia. He has also served as a guest lecturer at the Conductors Institute at Bard College. Awards include the Carmen Dragon Conducting Prize in 1992, the Grand Prize in the 2007 Varna (Bulgaria) International Conducting Competition and the Outstanding Teacher by the Colorado American String Teachers Association in 2009.

Mr. Kenney served for six seasons as associate conductor of the Virginia Symphony and four seasons as music director of the Virginia Ballet Theater. He also served for four seasons as co-principal conductor of the Oakland Lyric Opera and five seasons as music director of the Oakland Youth Orchestra in California. Guest conducting has included the Virginia Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony, Williamsburg Symphonia (in Va.), Vallejo Symphony and Long Beach Symphony (both in Calif.), Acadiana Symphony (in La.) and the Symphony of Southeast Texas. Internationally, he has conducted orchestras and opera companies throughout Europe and China. He has also conducted All-State Orchestras in Va. and N.M., and served as president of the Conductors Guild.

James Kim, Director of Choral Activities, Colorado State University

James KimDr. James Kim is currently the director of Choral Activities at Colorado State University. He directs the CSU Chamber Choir and also teaches undergraduate/graduate conducting, choral literature, and choral techniques.

After earning two degrees from University of Southern California, James Kim was invited by the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart to study with Helmuth Rilling for three years. In Europe, he participated in numerous workshops and festivals as an active conductor, notably such as Europisches Musikfest Stuttgart 99, Bachwochenende, and Sommerakademie. He was also selected as one of five conductors from around the world to study with Frieder Bernius in a masterclass sponsored by the International Federation of Choral Music in Namur, Belgium.

During the summers of 2000 and 2002, he was selected as an assistant conductor for the Opera Theater of Lucca held in Lucca, Italy. During the past 2001-02 season, he had served as the Interim Artistic Director for the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. Previously, Dr. Kim taught conducting at University of Cincinnati and at Simpson College. In 2002, he was selected and invited as a Conducting Fellow for the Chicago Conducting Workshop and Masterclass presented by the Chorus America and the Chicago Symphony Association.

In November 2011, Dr. Kim and CSU Music hosted the biennial national conference of the NCCO in Fort Collins where the CSU Chamber Choir was featured as the main choir for the three-day conference. Kim is also the founding artistic director of the Colorado Bach Ensemble, which received acclaimed reviews of their inaugural season concerts with Bach's B Minor Mass and Handel's Messiah. Choirs under his direction have sung at international and national stages including National Collegiate Choral Organization, ACDA, Chang-won Grand-Prix Choral Festival/Competition, and Aspen Music Festival.

James Kim received B.M. and M.M. from University of Southern California and the D.M.A. from CCM. His major teachers include William Dehning, and Earl Rivers.

Rebecca Phillips, Director of Bands, Colorado State University

969858_670068103060461_965217204_nDr. Rebecca Phillips is director of Bands at CSU where she conducts the Wind Symphony, and guides all aspects of the band and graduate wind conducting program. Prior to this appointment, she served as the associate director of bands, director of Athletic Bands, and associate professor at the University of South Carolina.
Dr. Phillips has served as a guest-conductor, clinician, and performer throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. She regularly conducts collegiate honor bands and all-state bands across the United States and she has been a rehearsal clinician at the Midwest Clinic. Ensembles under her direction have been featured at the 2012 College Band Director's National Association Southern Division Conference (CBDNA), the 2010 Society of Composers International Conference, and the 2008 North American Saxophone Alliance International Convention.

Dr. Phillips earned her Bachelors degree in Music Education from Florida State University, Master of Music degrees in Conducting and Trombone Performance from the University of South Florida, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting at Louisiana State University. She served as a secondary school band director for seven years in Fla., including director of Bands at Howard W. Blake Performing Arts High School in Tampa, Fla., where she developed an award-winning concert band program. Dr. Phillips holds memberships in the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, and in 2015 she was inducted into the American Bandmasters Association.

Seth Pendergast, Choral Music Education, Colorado State University
Seth Pendergast headshot

Seth Pendergrast

Seth Pendergast recently completed his Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of Utah, where he taught and assisted with music education courses, choral ensembles, student teacher supervision, and held the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program Assistantship. He earned a Masters in Music Education from the Florida State University and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Southeastern University.

Throughout his doctoral program, Seth developed scholarship concerning adolescent involvement in current and emerging school-based music courses. For his dissertation study, he explored the relationship between secondary school music participation and students’ music activities in both formal and informal contexts. His most recent publications include two book chapters on technology-based music courses, which appear in the textbook General Music: A K–12 Experience (Kendall Hunt Publishers). Seth has presented his research at national and state music education conferences, including the Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference, the Symposium on Music Teacher Education, Texas Music Educators Clinic/Conference, Florida Music Educators Professional Development Conference, and Utah Music Educators Conference. Seth is also an active clinician, conductor, and adjudicator. He frequently leads professional development sessions, clinics, festivals, and honor choirs at various schools, districts, conferences, and universities, both locally and nationally. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, Society for Music Teacher Education, Society for Research in Music Education, and Technology Institute for Music Educators. Beyond the academic arena, Seth has held music staff positions with church congregations in both Florida and Utah.

Brian Luedloff, Opera Theatre, University of Northern Colorado
Brian Luedloff

Brian Luedloff

Brian Clay Luedloff serves as artistic director for Opera Fort Collins where he has directed Tosca, Carmen, Amahl and the Night Visitors, il Barbiere di Siviglia, The Daughter of the Regiment, The Gift of the Magi, Faust,The Ballad of Baby Doe, Turandot, Sondheim’sFollies, Lucia di Lammermoor, Cosi fan tutte, Otello (Verdi), La Cenerentola, and Madama Butterfly. He is also director of Opera Theatre at University of Northern Colorado, where he has directed more than 30 operas since 2005. Professionally, Professor Luedloff has staged more than fifty productions for professional opera companies and theatres across North America. He has served on the staging staff of Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, the Dallas Opera, and Houston Grand Opera, assisting many internationally-renowned directors. Luedloff holds the Master of Fine Arts degree from Boston University, where he served as a directing fellow from 1997 to 2000. Last season, he directed Brigadoon for Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, The Proposal for Opera Steamboat, Barber of Seville for Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Salieri’s Prima la musicae poi le parole a tUniversidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia. He will return to Steamboat next summer for Hänsel und Gretel and to Colombia next fall for Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario). Fall 2019 will also feature the world premiere of his opera with composer Paul Elwood, The Taming, based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, at UNC’s new Campus Commons performance hall.

Leslie Stewart, Director of String Pedagogy, Colorado State University
lstewartLeslie Stewart is director of String Pedagogy at CSU and director of CSU's Summer Master of Music Education degree program with a Specialization in Conducting for working music educators. In addition, she conducts the CSU Concert Orchestra and the Health & Wellness Community Orchestra in Ft. Collins, Colo. Previous academic posts include Old Dominion University, Christopher Newport University and the Governor's School for the Arts in Va., Chowan College in N.C., and Dominican College of San Rafael in Calif. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Ms. Stewart holds Bachelor and Master's degrees in Violin Performance from the University of Southern California. A former violinist with the Puerto Rico and Alabama Symphonies, she has served as music director of the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra in Calif., and the Bay Youth Orchestras of Va.
Adam A Torres, Special Assistant Professor, Colorado State University

Adam Torres headshotAdam A Torres, conductor and pianist, made his professional debut as a piano soloist with the San Angelo Symphony at age eleven. He has since maintained a busy schedule as a conductor, performer, and educator. His current appointments include assistant conductor for both the Fort Collins Symphony and the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, special assistant professor of music at Colorado State University (with an emphasis in Online Curriculum), and music director for Zion Lutheran Church in Loveland, Colo.

Known for his flexibility and versatility, Torres appeared with the Colorado Symphony and Denver Young Artists Orchestra, narrating a performance of Gregory Smith's The Animated Orchestra in Feb. 2015. In 2014, Torres collaborated with the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs (Colorado Springs, Colo.) as an emergency guest conductor with only a few hours' notice prior to downbeat. In 2014, Adam also had the opportunity to conduct and rehearse the newly formed Alpharetta Symphony (Alpharetta, Ga.), the Colorado State University Concert Orchestra, and the Colorado Springs Conservatory summer production of Oklahoma!.

Previous appointments and guest conducting work include serving as a cover conductor for the Colorado State University Orchestras and Opera Theatre programs, guest conductor for the Fall 2013 CSU Faculty and Friends recital, assistant conductor (and rehearsal pianist) for Opera Orvieto's 2011 production of Cosi fan Tutte (Orvieto, Italy), the Nuova Musica Project (Music Director and co-founder, Fort Collins, Colo.), St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church (music director, San Angelo, Texas), Angelo Civic Theater (music director for The Full Monty, 2009), West Texas Ice House Brass (interim music director), Agnes Scott College Orchestra (guest conductor), Angelo State University Wind Ensemble (guest conductor), the Colorado State University Pep Band (guest director for 2013 NCAA Basketball tournament).

Previous assistant conducting positions include the Angelo State University Marching Band, Angelo State University Drama Department, San Angelo Symphony Chorale, and First United Methodist Church (San Angelo, Texas). Torres has also had the opportunity to attend masterclass workshops with Maestros Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, JoAnn Falletta, Peter Bay, Jorge Mester, Harold Farberman, where he has conducted the Round Rock (2010) and Virginia (2012) symphonies.

As a pianist, Torres remains in active demand as a collaborative pianist in Northern Colo. He is a regular performer with the Cheyenne Symphony, Sound de Trois (flute, clarinet, and piano trio), and regularly accompanies for private studios in Northern Colo. He has also recently performed with other organizations such as the Fort Collins Wind Symphony, the Poudre Valley Health and Wellness Orchestra, and the San Angelo Symphony. He has performed in several recitals for Colorado State University's Aries Composers' Festival for Contemporary Music and for the CSU Virtuoso Series. In addition to sharing his passion for music through conducting and collegiate teaching, Adam also maintains a small private studio of talented and dedicated students throughout the Northern Colorado region.

Bob Kreutz, Music Education Instructor, Colorado State University

Bob Kreutz headshotRobert (Bob) Kreutz, a native of Colo., has educated for 33 years in Loveland, Greeley, and Fort Collins, Colo. at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in the orchestral field.

Highlights of Bob’s teaching career include numerous appearances at music festivals and competitions with his great students.In Jan. 2014, Bob’s high school orchestra at Thompson Valley was awarded one of the top honors in the state of Colo., performing at the Colorado Music Convention as one of the premiere high school string orchestras.  They were also awarded the most inspiring award from the Thompson School District in May 2014.

As a violinist, Bob performs regularly as a member of the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra as a member since 1983, where he has enjoyed many memorable years in the first and second violin sections.

Bob is active as a clinician and adjudicator throughout Colo., Wyo., and beyond, creating great music with tremendous orchestral students in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Fort Morgan, Grand Junction, Jefferson County, Longmont, Thornton, Cheyenne, Wyo., and later this spring, in Salem, Ore.

Bob enjoys fly fishing, reading, and listening to amazing orchestras!

Nathan Payant, Choral Music Instructor, Colorado State University
Nathan Payant headshotNathan Payant is a passionate and dedicated conductor, educator and professional singer living in the Denver-metro area. He is thrilled to be conducting the CSU University Chorus for the 2017-2018 school year.
Most recently in 2016, Nathan completed his tenth year as the director of choirs at Bear Creek High School in Lakewood, Colorado, where he directed five different choral ensembles and was the vocal director for the yearly musical. During his tenure at Bear Creek, the program doubled in size and three different ensembles were invited to perform at the Colorado Music Educators Association clinic/conference. Currently, Nathan is on a leave from full-time teaching and is in the second year of his Doctoral program in Choral Conducting and Literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
In addition to his work with the University Chorus and his studies, Nathan sings professionally throughout the course of the year in numerous Denver ensembles including St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, Evans Choir, and Colorado Bach Ensemble, for which he also serves as the chorus personnel manager. He is also the co-founder and artistic director of Anima Chamber Ensemble. Nathan is an active member of NAfME, CMEA, ACDA, is a past Metro Governor on the Colorado All-State Choir board, a past District 2 Representative on the Vocal Music Council of CMEA, and has served as an honor choir clinician and music festival adjudicator on numerous occasions. Currently, Nathan serves on the the Colorado ACDA Council as the Women’s Choir R&R Chair.
Nathan holds a Master of Choral Conducting degree from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. When he is not teaching or singing, Nathan enjoys spending time with the loves of his life: his wife, Natalie, and three daughters, Faythe, Ava and Lilian.
Jack Yonce, Freelance Music Educator, Conductor, and Musician

Jack Yonce head shotJack Yonce is a freelance music educator, conductor and musician, having retired in May 2018 after twenty one years as director of bands at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado and twenty-eight years in public school music education. Mr. Yonce also served as district band department chairman for the Cheyenne Mountain School District and assisted with the seventh-grade band at the junior high; prior to his tenure at Cheyenne Mountain, he served for seven years as Instrumental music director at Gateway High School in Aurora, Colorado. Groups under Mr. Yonce’s direction have been selected to perform at the Colorado Music Educator’s Association Annual Convention thirteen times, to the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival three times, and have performed three times in Carnegie Hall and in the Kennedy Center and Dallas Meyerson Center. Under his direction, the Gateway High School Marching Band was a 6-time Colorado Band Association State Marching Band Finalist and performed in the Fiesta Bowl National Pageant of Bands and the Hollywood Christmas Parade.

Mr. Yonce is a past president of the Colorado chapter of Phi Beta Mu and the Colorado Bandmasters Association, and has also served as chief marching band judge. He has been named a Cheyenne Mountain High School "Teacher of the Year" twice, a Gateway High School “Unique Teacher of the Year,” a University of Colorado-Boulder College of Music Outstanding Alumnus, and is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association. He received a National Band Association “Citation of Excellence” in 2001 and has twice appeared in School Band and Orchestra Magazine as the Colorado nominee of the “50 Directors Who Make a Difference.”  In 2018, Mr. Yonce was inducted into the Colorado Bandmaster's Association Hall of Fame and was the 2017 recipient of the Phi Beta Mu "Most Outstanding Band Director" award.

Mr. Yonce has presented clinics and sessions at the MidWest Clinic, CMEA Conference, CBA Summer Convention, and numerous school and teacher inservices. He is actively involved as a guest conductor, clinician, sectional coach, and consultant and plays trombone in a number of local ensembles.

Mr. Yonce graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Northern Colorado in 1989 and a Masters of Music in Wind Conducting from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2004. He resides in Black Forest, Colorado, with his wife Donna and their two children.

Alumni News and Testimonials

Matt Cody, 2014, M.M. Music won first place in the American Prize for conducting at the community orchestra level. According to the organization's website, the American Prize in Conducting recognizes and rewards the best orchestral, choral, band/wind ensemble, opera and musical theater conductors in America, based on submitted recordings.

Matt entered CSU's Summer Conducting Program in 2012 as a middle school band director from Decorah, Iowa. By the time he graduated in 2014, he knew he wanted to conduct an orchestra but there wasn't one where he lived. Maestro Kenney suggested that Matt start a community orchestra made up of his music teacher colleagues, high school, and adult musicians from Decorah, as well as students and faculty from nearby Luther College. Within a few weeks of returning to Iowa, the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra held their first rehearsal, and in just three years since it's inception, has won this prestigious prize!

Evan Dixon headshotFeb. 19, 2017

Good Evening Professor Kenney,

I hope you are well and living life to its fullest.  This evening I find myself looking over a score and getting into vivid details on individual part tuning. In speaking with a colleague, I admitted how much I truly love getting this much in touch with what I am to be teaching next quarter.  I thought to myself how much I have you to thank for that.

Sincerely, thank you for how much you have added focus and direction to my personal understanding of music. The impact of the summer master's program had immediate results, however the long lasting dedication to truly knowing the music I am to conduct is where I am finding the most success. The philosophy you have instilled within me of pre- study, dedication to the music, and total mastery of the craft make my students far more successful than I could have realized. The skills of efficiently picking apart a score through application of what, how, and when to teach students each concept continues to be a strength of mine, largely thanks to you.

Thank you for all you do, and all you have done for me.

Evan Dixon, M.M., 2012

Eric Colgrove headshotDear Professor Kenney,

I wanted to thank you again for your instruction and influence during my time in the master's program at CSU. I have recently accepted a position as the director of the Symphonic Band and Chamber Orchestra at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, Oklahoma. I am very excited about this opportunity and know that I would not have been prepared for this without the experiences I had at CSU.

I really enjoyed conducting orchestral music at CSU and look forward to working with an orchestra at the collegiate level. Thank you for instilling that love of orchestral music and providing those experiences.

Eric Colgrove
Instructor of Music; Director of the Symphonic Band and Chamber Orchestra
Oklahoma Christian University

Eric was formerly the band director at Widefield High School in Colorado Springs, and graduated from the program in 2012.

Feb. 14, 2017

Good afternoon Professors Kenney and Stewart,

I hope you are both doing well!

I wanted to take a minute and say thank you for the quality of the summer program at CSU. In the past couple of months, I have had some great conducting experiences. My time at CSU was a huge factor the performances going well.

In Dec., my high school band hosted a local brass band for a joint concert. Their music director cancelled a few days before the performance and I was asked to conduct on short notice. Thanks to the score study methods I learned at CSU, the performance went very well!

In Jan., I had the opportunity to conduct the Symphony Band at the University of Iowa with the directors from Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Drake University looking on. Again, the workshop went very well thanks to the tools I learned in my time at CSU.

Thank you both for the time and energy you put into making that program a success. I would not be able to do what I can today without it.

Charles Oldenkamp, M.M., 2014