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Updated DMA program list (2002)

Dear Choralist,

Many apologies to those Univ. of Illinois-Champagne/Urbana grads. I
accidentally listed your school as Univ. of Illinois-Chicago. I fixed the
error and added some others that have been sent since the

Thanks to everyone who has responded.
Paul Neal

Go Blue! University of Michigan. #1 in the nation.
Good luck!

University of North Texas with Jerry McCoy as DCA. Incredible choirs and
conductor! Prestigious graduate school in music. 2nd only to Indiana in

This is, as you may know, a program with a distinguished
history. ASU has a great school of music. We have hundreds of fine
singers. Doctoral choral conductors normally have assistanceships that
include assisting in a major ensemble and/or directing one of our smaller
ensembles. We have standing ensembles for student recitals. Dr. Schildkret
is looking for graduate students who have solid academic training in music
and who are willing to expand it to become not just choir technicians, but
musical thinkers. I think you will find this a congenial atmosphere for
serious musical research as well as for developing sound knowledge of
conducting, rehearsal technique, and vocal technique.

I am a DMA student (one semester left!) at the University of North Carolina
at Greensboro. The program here is a veritable gold mine of opportunities -
not only podium time, but also collaboration with orchestral conductors and
instrumentalists as well. The history and theory department here is strong
and the research component of the degree is stringent - a good thing! Dr.
William P. Carroll is the chair of both the choral AND vocal divisions which
makes for wonderful inroads into vocal pedagogy considerations and a minimal
conflict between the vocal performance and choral worlds. The primary basis
for choral instruction is the Shaw/Herford school, but one choral instructor
is quite familiar with west coast and European traditions as well. The
school of music is housed in a two-year-old facility that is state of the
art and houses 500 students comfortably. There are currently 7 DMA students
in the program and we all have ensembles to work with on a regular basis.
It's worth looking into.

Check out the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri,
Kansas City. Dr. Eph Ehly has directed this program for years and is
now retired, but the quality of excellence continues with Dr. Charles
Robinson. It's a GREAT environment of support and encouragement as
opposed to many that thrive off intimidation and competitiveness.

I completed my DMA in 1999 at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign
(UIUC). Historically one of the best choral DMA programs in the country, it
does offer podium time in the form of an assistantship with a camus choir
while you are doing coursework (i.e. your first two years). This means
having your own group, in some cases, or assisting one of the conducting
professors with a group. The curriculum includes conducting class every
semester, choral literature class every semester (a four-semester sequence),
orchestral conducting, theory and musicology (top-notch musicologists), and
various other courses in your secondary field, culminating in a recital,
comprehensive exams, and a substantial dissertation. The UIUC has the third
largest academic library in the country, and the resources for doing
research are fantastic. (Just look at the Herford dissertation
prize (Choral Journal, April 2002) and see how many winners came from UIUC.)
The UIUC School of Music consistently ranks in the top 10
in the country, usually in the top six. The facilities are excellent, and
you'll have lots of excellent colleagues among the grad students at the

I graduated from the DMA program at Oklahoma under Dennis Shrock and
can not say enough good things about the quality and attention we were all
afforded. Dennis is a top notch teacher and sets a program that affords a
significant amount of time to the students for score study, singing and
conducting experience. We certainly learned from others in similar programs
that we had far more time with our advisor than most other programs. If this
is important to you, than take a look at the DMA program at OU.

I did mine at Michigan State Univ. with Charles Smith, who just
retired. David Rayl has taken his place. He was at the University of
Missouri. He's a quality musician and might be good to do a DMA
with. The program certainly has a good reputation - Anton Armstrong did
his DMA there a few years before me. The main problem when I was
there was the huge number of DMA candidates in residence - 16 my first
year, which made podium time rather scarce. I have a feeling that David
reduce the numbers greatly.

I graduated in 1999 from the University of South Carolina. I would
highly recommend both the school and the conducting D.M.A. Larry Wyatt
runs the program and is both a friend and mentor for me. He includes
his students in the inner workings of the department and there are many
chances to conduct. South Carolina has a graduate vocal ensemble that
provides a working chorus for conducting students. In some schools you
beg your friends to sing for you for all of your recitals. Because of
the way this program is set up there is very little of that. In
addition Dr. Wyatt treats his students with care and respect and tries
very hard to see that all of his graduates are employed when they finish
the program.

One should always consider Indiana, although I've been out of touch
for a time. Jan Harrington is first rate, and it's much easier to get
podium time at a large school.

My first choice is BU with Ann Jones. She is a tough, task master, but
you will definitely benefit from whatever she gives you. She was Robert
Shaw's assistant for many years with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus. Need
I say more?

I completed the DMA in Choral Conducting in 1998 at the University of Miami,
and was more than pleased with the experience. It was thoroughly rewarding
for me. Jo-Michael Scheibe heads the program and is highly discipline,
detail, organized, fair and superior as a Choral conductor. His standards of
excellence are exemplary, and I'm a better conductor as a result of my work
there. Emphasis is placed on gesture and its connection with the breath of
singers through a structured schedule of podium time. Weekly written
evaluations are conducted by instructor, peers, and the student himself. I
highly recommend the program for doctoral study and for excellent research

I have just finished my studies at The University of Arizona
and would like to offer my thoughts about the program in Tucson. Dr. Bruce
Chamberlain, Director of Choral Studies, is a phenomenal musician and
In the last two years, he has completely renovated the graduate program
into an educational study program which can compete with any doctoral
in the nation. In your search, it would be worth your while to give the
program at the U of A your serious consideration.

If you are serious about the research, there are few schools that do it
better or more severely than the University of Colorado, and, if you get an
assistanship then you get tons of podium time. It's not for everyone and it
is very intense (most people take between 5 and 8 years to finish). It is
possible to do it faster, but you have to be very disciplined and you get
little help from the powers that be, so figuring all of that out takes a
little while. We do have a strong list of alums and Dr.'s Conlon and
are fun people, though it takes the right personality to appreciate both of

Ken Fulton is the head of the choral department there, and he is probably
the best teacher of conducting I've ever seen. As you know, the LSU choirs
have a terrific national reputation. The graduate conducting program is
established and (I think) the
perfect size.... large enough so that you have a group of people with whom
to associate (never underestimate the learning that goes on when you and
your colleagues are sitting around, drinking coffee and discussing choral
music), and small enough so you get to do a lot of conducting. The doctoral
students are given ample opportunities to work in both rehearsal and
performance situations. The supporting coursework is also excellent. The
LSU doctoral program has graduates teaching all over the US.... any of us
would tell you the same thing.

There are roughly a dozen DMA students in Choral Music/Sacred
Music here (a) USC, all who feel privileged to be here. Dr. William Dehning
is chair of the department and is supported by Dr. David Wilson. USC is
certainly a nationally top 5 music program all-around. The Choral Music and
Sacred Music Programs are as well.

University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music
Yale University
Florida State University
University of Iowa
University of Kentucky
University of Southern Mississippi

on May 7, 2003 10:00pm
Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia has a DMA in Music Education program. The program is specifically geared toward practicing educators who do not or cannot take a sabbatical or administrative leave to pursue an advanced degree full time. There is also a sizable scholarship available to practicing educators. The program is viewable at:
on February 14, 2007 10:00pm