M.M. in Wind Conducting
The Master of Music in Wind Conducting is one of the four major conducting areas (choral, music drama, orchestral, and wind ensemble) in which degrees are offered at Ithaca College. In addition to their primary study with Stephen Peterson, conductor of the Wind Ensemble, students work privately with professors in one minor conducting area.
The select nature of the Conducting program (only one wind conductor is accepted each year) sets it apart from other master's conducting programs in the country by ensuring that there are a small number of graduate conductors in residence. Because the numbers are kept low, and the fact that there are four bands of high quality in the School of Music, the program can offer a very high level of individual attention and significant conducting opportunities. Students accepted into the program have the rare opportunity to work at a high musical level while enjoying significant podium time and focused individual attention and mentorship by their professors. Graduate students study with the major conductors in all areas, have valuable podium time with the premiere ensembles, and join a serious and committed community of developing conductors. The students may study with the major conductors in all areas, as well as four band conductors, and they conduct the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble, as part of the regular concert series, for their major recital.
Applicants are required to submit a video of a rehearsal and performance, a list of compositions studied and performed, as well as other supporting documents as required by the graduate admissions. After an initial screening, (including a DVD recording) a small number of applicants are invited for an on campus audition, usually in the last week of March, which includes conducting the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble, an interview, written tests, and an aural skills examination. No more than one student will be admitted each year in each area, and each student will be awarded a conducting assistantship.
Major-field course work includes both applied conducting (score reading, score analysis, and conducting with major ensembles) the graduate conducting seminar, and two literature courses in major and minor conducting areas.
Who Should Apply
Conductors who have a good technical foundation with the stick and left hand, have developed their performance skills considerably on one or more instruments, have good sight-singing and aural skills, familiarity with transposition, significant experience rehearsing and performing as a conductor, and who show great potential to grow tremendously as a conductor in the two short years of a masters program are encouraged to apply. While public school teaching experience is not required, it is strongly encouraged.