Audition & Program Requirements

Master of Music: Conducting (Choral, Orchestral or Wind)

Prescreening required; must be video recording.

Applicants must have completed beginning and advanced conducting classes for admission to the Master of Music in Conducting.

For Prescreening:

Our conducting faculty appreciates and is sensitive to the special challenges that graduate conducting applicants face this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty members emphasize that their approach to evaluating prescreening will be flexible, equitable, and responsive to the current climate.

  • Submit a video/videos of both rehearsal and performance (10-15 minutes each). Recognizing that it may not be possible to acquire current video of rehearsals/performances due to COVID-19-related safety measures, the faculty suggests you submit older examples of your conducting and/or video of you coaching/rehearsing a musician.
  • In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of your abilities as a musician, submit a representation of your highest level of musicianship. Be creative! Examples could include a video of you playing a beautiful phrase, excerpt, or piece of solo repertoire on your primary instrument; a video of you singing; or a video of you singing while conducting.
  • If you do not have a video or audio recording of your conducting, please describe in an essay your past opportunities serving as a conductor and why you have chosen to pursue a degree in conducting. 
  • Additional audio recordings of performances may also be submitted, especially if the audio aspect of your video recordings is not high quality.

For Final Audition:

  • Applicants invited to the live audition round will be informed of the scores to be prepared. Candidates will need to obtain and study the scores in preparation to conduct and rehearse all or any part of them. Scores may be marked any way the applicant wishes.
  • An interview with the conducting faculty will be scheduled. The interview allows the faculty to ascertain the applicant’s goals, ambitions, and needs; assess the candidate’s ability to communicate and project their own personality; and evaluate the strength of the applicant’s motivation to pursue a graduate degree and subsequent career in conducting. Choral candidates should be prepared to sing a solo song, with an accompanist provided by the Bienen School, that demonstrates range and stylistic flexibility, as well as read at sight and demonstrate their comfort with Italian, French, and German, as well as offer additional languages in which they are proficient. 

Other Degrees

Doctor of Musical Arts: Conducting