Skip to main content


Master of Music (MM) in Conducting, specialization in Choral Conducting


Application

This program has an application deadline of December 15th. All applications are submitted online through https://gradschool.usu.edu/apply/. Applicants to the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting must complete the following:

  1. Official College Transcripts - To qualify for admission to the MM program, applicants must have a bachelor's degree in music, with a GPA of at least 3.0. Official transcripts must be sent directly from previous institutions to USU.
  2. *GRE or MAT Scores - The GRE or MAT is optional for applicants to the Master of Music degree programs. However, applicants should be advised that the GRE/MAT is a requirement for some tuition waivers and scholarships available through the School of Graduate Studies. For information about these awards, and whether or not you may qualify, please visit https://gradschool.usu.edu/tuition-financial-aid/
  3. Letters of Recommendation – Three satisfactory letters of recommendation must be sent directly by the recommenders through the application server. Applicants are highly encouraged to seek a recommendation from a primary applied teacher and one academic music faculty (theory, history, etc.).
  1. Statement of Purpose – Submit your statement of purpose as a supplemental item on the online application, detailing career goals and reasons for pursuing this degree.
  1. Writing Sample - Please upload a 500–1000 word (1-2 pages, single-spaced) personal statement on one of the following topics. An academic research paper on a musical subject may also be accepted at the discretion of the Graduate Music Committee. The writing sample will be evaluated by the Music Department Graduate Committee and all full-time faculty in the applicant’s primary area of emphasis. Your essay will be evaluated in part on the quality of writing, including organization, concision, and clarity.

Topic 1: Describe a moment or experience in your musical education that convinced you to pursue higher education in music.
Topic 2: How do you hope your career in music will make an impact on today’s musical culture?
Topic 3: Why does/should music matter to individuals or society today?

  1. International Student Requirements - In addition to the General Admissions Requirements, International students must meet the language, degree, and funding requirements of the USU School of Graduate Studies, available at https://gradschool.usu.edu/apply/.

  2. Audition/Interview – Choral conducting applicants must complete the following by December 15th for full consideration:
    1. Submit a pre-screening video recording, via weblinks (YouTube, Google Drive, etc.) through the recorded audition form https://music.usu.edu/students/recorded-audition-form. This pre-screening recording should include:
      1. Approximately 10 minutes of rehearsal footage demonstrating the applicant’s abilities teaching, assessing, coaching and developing ensemble skills
      2. Approximately 10 minutes of performance footage from the ensemble’s perspective (conductor’s face is visible) demonstrating the applicant’s abilities as a creative colleague and performer. There is no restriction as to the profile of the ensemble (elementary, middle school, high school, college, professional, community). The applicant should select the footage that illustrates their best work in partnership with the ensemble. Careful consideration should be given to the quality of the repertoire and suitability of the ensemble’s skills and for graduate conducting study.
    2. Applicants whose Pre-Audition Screening is approved should confer with the Coordinator of Graduate Choral Conducting Studies, Dr. Craig Jessop (craig.jessop@usu.edu), to schedule the audition/interview and discuss the literature to be conducted for the audition. The audition will include vocalizing and rehearsing the choir, an interview with the choral faculty, and a brief singing exercise to include sight-reading.

For questions regarding the choral conducting application process, please contact Dr. Craig Jessop, Professor of Choral Conducting at craig.jessop@usu.edu.

Curriculum

The primary purpose of this degree is to develop and educate graduate students with a high-level of choral conducting and administrative skills so that they are prepared and qualified to direct a choral program at an advanced level and contribute as professionals to the growth and development of the choral field. This program includes the importance of intensive score preparation and study, emphasizing conducting abilities that demonstrate expressive and clear gestures with poise and confidence; rehearsal preparation which is faithful to the score and connects with the musicians resulting in inspiring performances.   It introduces the students to a diverse choral repertoire of both secular and sacred music from the different stylistic periods of choral music.

This master’s program is intended for the student who has had previous conducting experience, and who wishes to pursue advanced studies to be a more fully-equipped teacher in public or private education or to advance to doctoral study. The degree stresses the advancement of musical understanding and skill, as well as those personal traits and abilities required of the conductor who aspires to musical excellence.

The MM in Conducting with a specialization in Choral Conducting is a two-year, 32 credit hour program. Courses consist of private conducting lessons, bibliography, music history and literature, advanced music theory, conducting seminars with ensembles, department ensemble participation, final recital, final oral and /or written examinations.

Year 1, Fall MUSC 5980 Introduction To Music Research 3 Credits
  MUSC 6100 Graduate Performance Ensemble 1-3 Credits
  MUSC 6120 Advanced Rehearsal Techniques 2 Credits
  MUSC 6610 Practicum In Choral Performance 1-4 Credits
  MUSC 6630 Individual Instruction For Graduates 1-2 Credits
     
       
Year 1, Spring MUSC 6100 Graduate Performance Ensemble 1-2 Credits
  MUSC 6130 Music History Seminar 3 Credits
  MUSC 6610 Practicum In Choral Performance 1-4 Credits
  MUSC 6620 Seminar In Music Literature 2 Credits
  MUSC 6630 Individual Instruction For Graduates 1-2 Credits
     
       
Year 2, Fall MUSC 6100 Graduate Performance Ensemble 1-2 Credits
  MUSC 6110 Advanced Conducting 2 Credits
  MUSC 6140 Music Theory Seminar 3 Credits
  MUSC 6610 Practicum in Choral Performance 1-4 Credits
  MUSC 6630 Individual Instruction for Graduates 1-2 Credits
     
       
Year 2, Spring MUSC 6100 Graduate Performance Ensemble 1-2 Credits
  MUSC 6120 Advanced Rehearsal Techniques 2 Credits
  MUSC 6630 Individual Instruction for Graduates 1-2 Credits
  MUSC 6900 Independent Study 1-6 Credits
  MUSC 6910 Individual Recital 1-3 Credits