Program in Choral Conducting

Student conducting a choirThe program prepares students for careers as professional conductors in many contexts, particularly educational, civic, and church settings, and for continued work in doctoral programs. Students are expected to expand their musicianship skills and develop the broad knowledge of repertoire required of conductors.

Program Requirements

The program for choral conductors includes individual lessons with the choral conducting faculty and lessons during regularly supervised sessions with the repertory and recital choruses. Attendance at a weekly seminar and membership in the Yale Camerata are required each term, as is participation as a singer in designated choruses. First-year students conduct Repertory Chorus in two shared performances. Second-year students present a degree recital with the Recital Chorus. Choral conducting students are required to study voice as a secondary instrument for two terms and are encouraged to pursue other secondary instrumental studies. For more information about curriculum and degree requirements of the Yale School of Music, see the School of Music bulletin. Students who are enrolled in the School of Music and the Institute of Sacred Music may have additional requirements as specified by the Institute. All students are expected to avail themselves of the offerings of the University, particularly courses in the Department of Music. Of particular interest to choral conductors are the music and theology courses listed under the Program in Religion and the Arts.

Marguerite Brooks conferring with studentChoral conductors are advised to observe rehearsals of each of the various vocal and instrumental ensembles. Further conducting experience is gained by serving as assistant conductor for one of the faculty-led choruses, and by directing the Battell Chapel and Marquand Chapel choirs. Visiting guest conductors have included Marin Alsop, Simon Carrington, Matthew Halls, David Hill, Sir Gilbert Levine, Sir Neville Marriner, Nicholas McGegan, Erwin Ortner, Stefan Parkman, Grete Pedersen, Krzysztof Penderecki, Helmuth Rilling, Jaap Schröder, Robert Shaw, Dale Warland, and Sir David Willcocks.

For more precise information about the courses and requirements in this track, contact the Institute’s Admissions office at