[ programs ]
The orchestral conducting program offers intensive training to a highly gifted group of young conductors. During the two-year curriculum students train with the Philharmonia’s music director and have the opportunity to conduct the Philharmonia and other ensembles in rehearsal and performance.
While there is an emphasis on orchestral repertoire, students develop their technique and general musicianship. Score reading skills and analysis classes are required. In addition, students in the program are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the diverse course offerings of the School of Music, the Department of Music, and the other divisions of the University.
The program prepares students for careers as professional conductors in a variety of contexts including educational, civic, and church. A primary emphasis of the master’s degree is laying the foundation for continued work in a doctoral program. Students are expected to expand their musicianship skills and develop the broad knowledge of repertoire required of conductors.
The program for choral conductors includes individual lessons with the choral conducting faculty, and lessons during regular supervised sessions with the repertory and recital choruses. Attendance at a weekly seminar and membership in the Yale Camerata are required each term. First-year students conduct Repertory Chorus in two shared performances. Second-and third-year students present a degree recital with the Recital Chorus.
Choral conducting students are required to study voice as a secondary instrument for two terms and are encouraged to pursue other secondary instrumental studies. Students who are enrolled in the School of Music through the Institute of Sacred Music will have additional requirements as specified by the Institute. All students are expected to avail themselves of the offerings of the University, particularly courses in the Department of Music. Choral conductors are advised to observe rehearsals of each of the various vocal and instrumental ensembles. Further conducting experience is gained by serving as assistant conductor for one of the faculty-led choirs. Visiting guest conductors have included Harold Decker, George Guest, Sir David Willcocks, and Robert Shaw.