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Adding graduate schools in choral conducting to final list

Hi all,
 
I am currently working on applications to MM in Choral Conducting programs. I finished my undergraduate last May with degrees in music (piano) and mathematics. I currently am an organist and choir director at a local Episcopalian church and am pursuing a conducting internship with an auditioned community choir in Seattle. These commitments will last until next summer. I also have done research and extensive coursework in theory and analysis and am looking into graduate programs where I can pursue a dual degree (MA/MM) in Conducting and Theory. My career goals are to work in sacred music at a high level as well as teach theory and/or choir at a university.
 
So far, my list includes University of Oregon, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, and Westminster Choir College, and I have been in contact with some of the progessors at these schools. Does anybody have suggestions for one or two more programs to add to the list? Most of these schools take very few applicants (understanding that they provide great conducting opportunities, one-on-one attention, etc.), so I am trying to help my chances as much as possible. I am also looking for schools where private organ study is available!
 
Thank you very much for your suggestions.
 
Lukas P
on October 16, 2013 5:04pm
University of Michigan has both phenomenal conducting and organ programs. Their grads place in very high-profile positions: Jeffrey Douma---Yale University, and Dan Bara---University of Georgia, to name just two. Eastman is also a great choice.
on October 17, 2013 5:37am
Lukas, 
 
Not to rain on your parade, but you might run into the issue of graduate programs not allowing you to pursue two Masters degreees simultaneously.  When I started my graduate program, I intended to study Clarinet Performance and Choral Conducting simultaneously.  Both program directors explained to me the difficulty of trying to complete both programs of study at the same time, so I chose Choral Conducting and let the clarinet be.  As time went on, I found that I was glad they hadn't allowed me to pursue both; I would have been completely overwhelmed.  However, that's just my personal experience.  If you find somewhere that allows you to do both and it suits your needs and work ethic, go for it.  
 
If you happen to be looking for a smaller school, Mercer University in Macon, GA (my alma mater) has a fantastic choral program led by Dr. Stanley Roberts and an equally fantastic organ program headed by Dr. Jack Mitchener.  Best of luck! 
on October 17, 2013 7:18am
Lukas,
 
While Craig's list is quite excellent, I would add to his list the University of Colorado which has an extremely rich history in choral conducting.  The Founder of the ACDA taught there (Dr. Walter Collins), Dr. Lynn Whitten (former President of the ACDA taught there), as did the internationally famous choral conductor, Dr. Lawrence Kaptein, who, by the way, took the Phoenix ACDA National Convention by storm.  Colorado also has a fine orchestra while Westminster does not.  The University of Missouri also has a fine history in your field.  Also investigate Florida State University, Hartt Conservatory, Mannes School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, Southern California, UCLA, and the Boston Conservatory of Music.  There are many fine programs.  Investigate those programs that include excellent experiences in those areas in which you wish to explore deeply such as conducting and theory as you write.  Narrow that list down by applying the number of doctorates teaching you directly, the history of the school, the added benefits of the school, the cost, the proximity to your home, and comments from others.  Once the list is down to a three schools, make your choice.
on October 17, 2013 10:57am
John and Craig,
 
Thank you for your suggestions. I will certainly research those schools. 
 
Joshua,
 
I have already ran into the issue of not being able to do a dual masters, and I'm still a bit on the fence in going that route in general. However, I am trying to keep my options open in terms of being a well-rounded musician. It's helped me out so far (and payed the bills)!
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