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Choral Conducting Program

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The graduate choral conducting program at the University of Maryland School of Music is one of the most prestigious and selective in the country. We offer both the Doctor of Musical Arts and the Master of Music degrees. Graduates of our program teach at colleges and universities and are conducting professionally throughout the United States.

Our curriculum is based on the principles of extensive and consistent podium experience, the highest standards of musicianship and scholarship, prestigious performance opportunities, and a constant striving to answer questions about the complete choral experience. Four semesters of intensive conducting study are divided into three semesters devoted to choral conducting and one semester of orchestral conducting.

Students are mentored by a faculty led by Edward Maclary, Director of Choral Activities and Craig Kier, Director of the Maryland Opera Studio. During their residencies, students are given opportunities to conduct and perform regularly with all six of the School’s full-time choral ensembles, conduct the University Lab Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra, as well as assist in Maryland Opera Studio productions. Further conducting opportunities are provided by the School’s ongoing Bach Cantata Series and New Music at Maryland. 

Graduate choral conducting students sing in the UMD Chamber Singers and UMD Concert Choir, which provide professional performance opportunities with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Conductors we have collaborated with over the past decade include Christoph Eschenbach, Helmuth Rilling, Iván Fischer, Marin Alsop, Matthew Halls, Masaaki Suzuki and Rinaldo Alessandrini. Masterclasses have also been provided by Peter Philips, Paul Hillier and Simon Carrington.

The program's atmosphere is collegial, nurturing and open. Students and faculty interact closely on a daily basis. The DC Metro area is home to culturally diverse and artistically active communities. Professional opportunities for conducting, singing and playing are plentiful. The choral conducting program is open to those who can meet its demands and who wish to challenge themselves to fulfill their potential as conductors and leaders.