Conducting

At the UBC School of Music we offer excellent training for graduate conductors with ample podium time in front of outstanding ensembles in our Master of Music in Conducting with emphases in choral, orchestral, or wind conducting.

Our conducting program features a private conducting study and significant podium time. Teaching assistantships in conducting and ensembles provide vital experiential learning opportunities throughout the degree. Collaboration with conducting faculty in all emphases makes it a cooperative and collegial learning environment.

Entrance to the MMus in Conducting is based upon your admission portfolio (including a pre-screen video) and an in-person audition. We encourage artist-teachers seeking to advance their conducting studies to apply.


Choral conducting emphasis

The MMus with an emphasis on choral conducting is a selective program designed to give the aspiring professional and/or academic choral conductor exceptional training and experience at the graduate level.

The program features four core components:

  • Extensive podium time with the UBC choral ensembles
  • An intensive two-year seminar in choral history and literature
  • High-level performance opportunities for both a cappella choral works and choral/orchestral masterworks
  • Individual instruction and guidance

The cohort of graduate choral conductors totals approximately 6 students, with 2-3 new students accepted each year. This class size ensures podium access and quality of individual instruction.

Content goes here

My most memorable moment was conducting Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms for my Master's Graduation Recital at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts with UBC’s Choral Union and Symphony Orchestra. This was the pinnacle of the collaborative and supportive environment I experienced at UBC Music. I remember my days there fondly. If I could do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat.

Kemuel Wong
BMus ‘08 (General Studies), MMus '10 (Choral Conducting)

Orchestral conducting emphasis

The MMus with an emphasis in orchestral conducting, gives the aspiring professional orchestral conductor an unequalled opportunity to receive consistent, ample podium time with a high-level conservatory orchestra. Students work extensively one-on-one with conducting professors and fulfill leadership roles as assistant conductors.

This is an extremely selective program that usually accepts only one or two students per year to ensure optimal podium time and opportunities.


Wind conducting emphasis

The MMus with an emphasis in wind conducting gives the aspiring professional wind conductor an unequalled opportunity to receive consistent, ample podium time with the UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Winds. Students work extensively one-on-one with conducting professors and fulfill leadership roles as assistant conductors.

This is an extremely selective program that usually accepts only one or two students per year to ensure optimal podium time and opportunities.


Prerequisites

  • Bachelor of Music degree or equivalent
  • Vocal and/or instrumental training sufficient for ensemble leadership in the area of emphasis
  • Piano proficiency
  • Strong foundation in music history and theory

Note: Otherwise strong applicants with deficiencies in these areas may be required to take additional courses.


Thesis

The thesis will be a portfolio of audio-visual recordings of live, public performances of approximately 45 minutes, including a recital of a minimum of 20 minutes of music, with your extended original programme notes.


Curriculum

You must complete a total of 37 credits in

  • 520A Introduction to Music Research - 3 credits (Ref. 1)
  • 544 Seminar in Conducting and Repertoire I - 4 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 545 Seminar in Conducting and Repertoire II - 4 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 593 Music Performance (conducting lessons) - 6 credits (Ref. 3)
  • 549 Thesis - 6 credits (Ref. 3)
  • Large Ensemble - 8 credits (Ref. 4)
  • Music Electives - 6 credits (Ref. 5)

  1. Music 520A must be taken in the first term of graduate study. Students who have had a similar course previously may be exempted from this requirement; please see the Student Advisor or chair of the Graduate Committee. If exempted, students must substitute three 500-level elective credits.
  2. Music 544 and 545 are offered in different sections to support the three areas of emphasis (Choral, Orchestral, Wind) in accordance with enrollments. Students take sections corresponding to their area of emphasis. Enrollment in additional sections outside the area of emphasis may be permitted, with the approval of the instructor and the student's supervisor.
  3. Conducting lessons are offered in the student’s area of emphasis (Choral, Orchestral, or Wind). MUSC 593 is to be taken in the first year of study only. Students shall register in MUSC 549, which includes second-year conducting lessons, beginning in the summer session following the first year of study, and remain registered in it through the completion of the program.
  4. For the emphasis in Choral Conducting, the Large Ensemble must be MUSC 553 University Singers. For the emphasis in Orchestral or Wind Conducting, the Large Ensemble must be MUSC 550 Large Instrumental Ensemble.
  5. Normally courses at the 500 level, although courses at the 300- and 400-level to a maximum of 6 credits may be included with approval. Courses below the 300 level may not be counted toward graduate-level credit. Coursework in orchestration, music history, music theory, and/or secondary lessons in voice or instrument(s) may be prescribed by the student’s supervisor and with the approval of the Director. Students may enroll in 500-level seminars in Music History, Music Theory, and/or Ethnomusicology with the permission of the seminar instructor. By permission of the instructor, one additional section of MUSC 544 or 545, taken outside of the student’s area of emphasis, may be counted as a music elective.


Quick links

On this page
    Back to toparrow_upward