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The Master of Music in Conducting is designed for the outstanding musician who aspires to a career as a choral conductor at the high school or collegiate level. To provide maximum conducting experience, the program is kept small. Private studio instruction combined with ample podium time is at the core of the curriculum. In private lessons and seminars, conductors will refine their conducting and rehearsal techniques, develop score preparation skills, explore choral literature and pedagogy, and continue to develop a broad knowledge of music history and theory.



NASM (National Association of Schools of Music)

Admission into the MM Conducting Program
Auditioning for the program is a three-step process:

1. To enter a graduate music degree program, prospective students must meet the admissions requirements of both the Graduate School and the Choral Area in the School of Music. The application deadline for the Conducting program is December 15. Please send the following materials to Dr. Thornton before the deadline:

    • Curriculum Vitae or resume

    • List of repertoire conducted

    • Link to video of a recent rehearsal and performance. The video should be a minimum of 15 minutes and maximum of 30 minutes.

        • Submission requirements:

          • The camera angle should show a full frontal view of the conductor.

          • The choral sound and comments from the conductor should be clearly audible.

          • The video should be labeled with your full name and the name of the ensemble.

2. Following a review of the required materials, applicants may be invited to campus for an audition and interview. On-campus auditions will be scheduled by the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies. Auditions are scheduled in early spring. 


3. The on-campus audition will consist of conducting/rehearsing the OSU Concert Chorale for 20-30 minutes, a meeting with current graduate students, and an interview with the faculty. 


During the conducting portion of the audition, applicants will conduct two works. The first selection will be a performance-ready work by Concert Chorale. The second work, in which the applicant will teach a portion of the composition, is selected in consultation with Dr. Thornton. A pianist will be present. 


In the interview, music literacy will be accessed and applicants will bring one solo work to demonstrate their vocal ability. 


Acceptance into the MM Choral Conducting Program


Candidates will be contacted by Dr. Thornton with a decision following the on-campus audition. Conductors accepted into the program are eligible to receive a Graduate Teaching Assistantship and other forms of financial aid.



There will be two choral assistantships available for the 23-24 academic year. While all students are encouraged to apply for assistantships as a means of alleviating the costs of graduate study and to develop teaching skills, appointments are not guaranteed to all applicants who are admitted. Assistantships cover tuition for 4 semesters of study. In addition, there is an $11,700 stipend each year and health coverage is included for the graduate assistant.  


Students interested in applying should contact Dr. Andrew Parker, Graduate Coordinator. Assistantships and scholarships are not available to part-time students. 


Timeline for Completing the MM in Conducting

The Master of Music in Conducting requires two years of full-time study. 


Year 1 (Fall): Diagnostic Examinations
Assessment tests in Music History and Theory are required of all entering MM students before they enroll in coursework. 


Years 1 and 2 (Fall, Spring): Complete Course Requirements


Year 2 (Spring): Recital, Oral Examination, and Final Degree Project

In the second year of residency, the student will present a public recital. 

Repertoire will be chosen by the candidate and approved by the Director of Choral 

and Vocal Studies. 


All MM students must take a one-hour comprehensive oral examination. A 

minimum of three faculty members will conduct the examination. The final oral 

examination is intended to be the culmination of, and representative of, the learning experiences of the Master’s Degree program. The intent is to encourage the student to think broadly, placing the area of specialization in historical perspective and in the context of current trends in music performance or pedagogy.


The Final Degree Project is a capstone project developed by the major professor and student. The type of project, content, and size will vary according to the disciplinary area. Projects can include formal papers, extra recitals, lecture recitals, or other creative endeavors. 

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