Recommended Masters programs in Choral Music
Thanks to all who responded!
A colleague who conducts in a high school and has a Masters in voice wants
to go back to college for a Masters in Choral Conducting. She's very
musical, has no technique. She deserves a really fine program.
I'd appreciate your advice on what programs are terrific and who is
terrific to study with.
I recommend Univ of South Carolina. Larry Wyatt is in charge of the program
Hal Gibbons, University of North Texas, Denton, TX USA
May I be so bold as to suggest either of my alma maters, Temple University
and SUNY Stony Brook. Alan Harler is still head of the program at Temple and
Tim Mount is still at Stony Brook. Both schools have good choirs for
conducting majors to practice on and perform with, and I got a lot
opportunity to work with instruments in both places, too (a big advantage
over the Westminster program).
KU with Simon Carrington (outstanding)
Though I was there in a theory program, I'd suggest you at least look into
Michigan State University. Charles Smith is the man there--an excellent
choral conductor! I sang under his leadership and respect him highly!
I strongly recommend Bill Weinert at Eastman. I have worked with him and can
attest to his excellence. You can tell him that I recommended this person
talk to him. He is a fine singer, musician and conductor.
I would recommend Dr. Timothy Stalter at the University of Iowa and Dr. Kent
Hatteberg at the University of Louisville (Kentucky). Both are excellent
"technicians" as well as very musical.
Graeme Cowen: Bowling Green State U in Ohio - We would love to entertain the
possibilitiy of your conducting colleague pursuing her masters here. Some of
the graduate work is done in the summers.....
I am always happy to encourage people to go to Westminster Choir College for
a master's in choral conducting. It is a fantastic program, particularly
because of the faculty (Joseph Flummerfelt, especially), the singing
opportunities, and the choral emphasis of the entire conservatory. I have
never regretted going there for my MM in conducting.
I did my MM in Choral Conducting at the University of Oklahoma under Dennis
Shrock......it was an incredible Master's program and I would HIGHLY
I'm not sure if you need to stay in the states for your Masters program, but
there are a couple in Canada I'd like to plug. The better one (in my
opinion) is at the University of Alberta, which is on a gorgeous campus, and
very nice facilities. The conductor there is Leonard Ratzlaff, a wonderful
conductor, who recently conducted Canada's National Youth Choir (which I was
a part of) and I really enjoyed his conducting. A friend of mine is there
now, and she is really loving her program, as have at least 3 other people I
know of who have studied with him in that program. Closer to New York is the
University of Toronto, and the program here is quite good also, led by
conductor Doreen Rao. Many fine conductors have been built here in Toronto
under her leadership. I hope I've offered you a couple suggestions that you
might think of.
Dr. Doreen Rao at the University of Toronto, Canada, is Elmer Iseler
Professor of Conducting. The program around Dr. Rao and her colleagues is
superb: it develops the whole musician, gives great support to experienced
and musical people who need a solid foundation, and works with appropriate
musical materials--the kind your colleague will want to actually use when
she returns to the podium/classroom. I've learned a tremendous amount from
Doreen through her summertime CME program, and know several happy, talented
grad students who are working with her now.
I got my M.M. from the U of Maine at Orono. Their grad department isn't
real large, but they have a fine, talented faculty and are realistic and
flexible with the program. I have the highest professional and personal
respect and regard for all of my professors, especially my faculty advisor
and mentor, Dr. Dennis Cox.
Mine was at San Jose State U (Dr. Archibeque). U of Southern Cal is also
fantastic (Bill Dehning). UCLA rocks (Don Neuen) I may be a bit biased, of
KU is awesome with Simon Carrington.
The Directory of Faculties (CMS) puts out a list of degrees as their final
chapter. One can search for specific degrees and explore the schools.
I'd highly recommend Don Neuen's program at UCLA.
I have heard wonderful things about the Westminster program, but I am not
too familiar with it. You probably are. However, I also hear that it
costs an arm and a leg to go there. I did my masters in choral conducting
at Western Michigan University with Craig Arnold. He has
since left, but the new guy, Joe Miller, is unbelievable. If I had to do it
all over again, I would definately consider it again! Paul Oakley is now at
E. Carolina and he is an inspiration. I don't know much more about that
other than he is great. I am not too familiar with the whole east coast
thing, but I am sure that there are great
things going on somewhere.
I am currently working on my doctorate at the University of Iowa with Tim
Stalter. He is also unbelievable. The great thing about that program, is
that they offer a very large amount of classes during the
summer! I have to do a year residency for my doctorate, but it is worth
checking out for a masters program. Perhaps they don't have such a large
residency requirement for the masters.
My daughter is studying for her masters in conducting at FIU - Miami. She
CCM - University of Cincinnati. Contact Earl Rivers.
228 Placid Drive
Schenectady, NY 12303-5118
518/356-9155 (h); 442-4167 (w)
Albany Pro Musica
PO Box 3850
Albany, NY 12203-0850
Ph/Fax: (518) 273-6510
Univ. at Albany Music Department