The School of Music offers the Master of Music degree in performance with an emphasis in choral conducting, wind conducting, or orchestral conducting. All degree plans offer a comprehensive study plan that includes specialized courses in repertoire, history, score study and individual conducting lessons. Many graduates of the Master of Music degree in conducting have gone on to fulltime positions at community colleges throughout the United States and on to doctoral programs at some of the finest music schools in America.
Master of Music in Performance: Choral Conducting • Pre-Screening Audition/Essay Requirements
- Applicant must submit a video of a recent rehearsal. (Please limit time to 10-20 of unedited material.)
- Before audition, the applicant shall submit a writing sample (essay or previously written academic paper) of 500-750 words on one of the following topics:
a) Problems in the selection of editions of early choral music.
b) An aspect of musical style, performance practice, or interpretation of the audition piece.
c) A body of literature by a particular composer, and its significance.
d) The conductor’s preparation for rehearsal and performance.
e) A significant aspect of choral pedagogy.
Fall (following pre-screening material submission)
- The Director of Choral Studies will determine each candidate’s audition date and time in coordination with the prospective student.
- An audition committee of three faculty members will be assembled, and will include Dr. Robert Istad, Dr. Christopher Peterson, a member of the instrumental conducting faculty, and the Director of Graduate Studies.
- Audition will consist of the following items:
Candidate will have a short interview with Dr. Robert Istad and Dr. Christopher Peterson. Candidate will be allowed 15 minutes to conduct the CSUF University Singers in the following:
ACADEMIC PREPARATION AND PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE
- 7 Minutes - An excerpt from the standard unaccompanied choral repertoire will be performance ready by the choir and is intended to determine the level of the candidate’s conducting technique. The Assigned Pieces are:
1. Josef Rheinberger, from Cantus Missae in E-flat, Op. 109:
a. III. Credo
2. Daniel Knaggs, O Praise the Lord (Psalm 117)
- 8 Minutes – Candidate will select and briefly rehearse a selection of their choice. (If the selection is not owned by CSUF, candidate will supply 40 copies at the time of the audition.)
- Candidate will prepare:
One solo art song or aria that displays the best of his or her vocal ability.
One solo work for piano that showcases the best of his or her keyboard ability.
Candidate will be asked to read at sight:
Tonal and Rhythmic exercises vocally
One four-part, open choral score
One simple piano accompaniment
A student will be admitted to the M.M. program in choral conducting only if his or her academic preparation and experience are sufficient. A student whose undergraduate major or concentration was not choral conducting may be required to take remedial coursework before auditioning. In general, at least one full year of experience as a public-school choral music teacher or two years experience directing an adult church choir are prerequisite to admission.Students not accepted into the program after the first audition may re–audition once in a future semester.
School of Music Graduate Program Advisor Dr. John Koegel (657) 278-7658
Master of Music in Performance: Wind Band Conducting • Audition Requirements and Other Essentials
The following must be submitted on or before January 15 for consideration for admission the following Fall.
A video of a recent performance (10-minute maximum) and a recent rehearsal (20-minute maximum). The videos should be filmed from the ensemble’s perspective, showing a front-side view of the conductor. The videos may be cropped to fit within the time limitations, but should be otherwise unedited. Applicants may submit links to online videos or submit a DVD.
Following pre-screening material submission (see above):
- The Director of Wind Studies will determine each candidate’s audition date and time in coordination with the prospective student. Audition dates will usually occur on a Monday or Wednesday in the months of February or March.
- Prior to the audition date, the applicant will submit a 1000-1500 word analysis of a major work from the band or chamber winds repertoire. The Director of Wind Studies will discuss appropriate repertoire selections with each individual invited to a live audition.
- Candidate will complete the following at their live audition:
- An interview with Dr. Dustin Barr (not to exceed one hour in length)
- A 15-25 minute conducting session with either the University Wind Symphony or the Symphonic Winds. Repertoire to be conducted will be discussed in consultation with Dr. Barr at least one month prior to the audition date.
- A brief informational meeting with Dr. John Koegel, Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Music (pending Dr. Koegel’s availability)
ACADEMIC PREPARATION AND PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE
A student will be admitted to the M.M. program in wind conducting only if his or her academic preparation and experience are sufficient. Remedial coursework may be required as deemed necessary. In general, at least one full year of conducting experience (public/private school teaching, community bands, conducted chamber ensembles, etc.) is a prerequisite for admission.
Students not accepted into the program after the first audition may re-audition once in a future semester.
Questions about this degree program should be directed to Dr. Dustin Barr, Director of Wind Studies
Letters of Recommendation
Arrange to have letters of recommendation from three music professionals familiar with your preparation for graduate study sent to the School of Music graduate program adviser.
After being admitted, all entering graduate students take entrance exams in music history and music theory. The exams cover undergraduate level material and are given Thursday before the first week of classes.