Graduate Choral Conducting Program

  • Dr. Ryan Beeken conducts

    The Graduate Choral Conducting Program, under the direction of Dr. Ryan Beeken, seeks to provide students with opportunities to develop the highest level of musicianship, further their study of choral repertoire, and hone their conducting and rehearsal skills.

    The program is designed to prepare students for careers as professional conductors and also position them for potential further study. One hundred percent of recent graduates have been placed into top DMA programs or professional posts throughout the country.

    Students in the IUP Graduate Choral Conducting Program receive a high level of individual attention and significant conducting opportunities with all choral ensembles. They participate in weekly lessons and seminar, attend and conduct rehearsals and performances, interact with acclaimed composers, guest conductors, and soloists, assist in conducting classes, and gain extensive experience in all administrative facets of the program.

    In addition, students benefit from having an additional choral professional on faculty. Dr. Craig Denison enjoys an acclaimed reputation as expert in choral music education and is particularly noted for his work with young men. Dr. Denison currently serves as the National Repertoire and Standards Chairperson for Boy Choirs for the American Choral Directors Association.

    From the Student’s Perspective

    Program benefits identified by Jessica Zelenack M’16, Associate Music Director for the Milwaukee Children’s Choir and Vocal Music Director for Milwaukee Public Schools:

    • Experience listening, observing, and rehearsing with 3+ choirs of various levels and make-ups
    • One-on-one lessons with leading conductors and educators in choral conducting field that focus on gesture, score study, and rehearsal techniques
    • Hands-on application of the above in rehearsals with collegiate choirs
    • Seminars researching the historical and performance practices of choral repertoire, composers, and performers from the early Renaissance through the twentieth century
    • Hands-on experience with choral program duties such as repertoire selection, distribution, formal wear, event coordination, and copyright communications
    • Studying, meeting, and networking with leading directors from various universities and schools in the US and throughout the world
    • Opportunities to attend and perform at professional development conferences
    • Paid music positions through the IUP Community Music School and local churches
    • Active student chapters of ACDA , NATS , NAfME , and other professional organizations
    • Welcoming faculty, student body, and community
    • Connections with further education programs and job networking

    Application Procedure

    Applicants to the Graduate Choral Conducting Program should hold a bachelor’s degree in music. Previous teaching experience is preferred but not required. An application does not guarantee an on-campus audition, and applicants who are granted an audition must audition/interview on campus to complete the application process.

    Auditions will include conducting a rehearsal with the IUP Chorale, singing/playing a prepared solo, assessment of keyboard proficiency, and ear training. On-campus auditions are recommended, but applicants may be able to submit recordings. Please contact Dr. Ryan Beeken directly at ryan.beeken@iup.edu to set up your audition.

    IUP has rolling admissions: there is no application deadline. However, if you wish to be considered for graduate assistantships or scholarship funding, you must apply to IUP and complete an audition by February 15 for fall admission.

    Apply or read more about the application process, including information for international students.

    Course of Study

    Master of Arts in Choral Conducting
    31 credits Total
    12 cr APMU 622-772, Graduate Choral Conducting, Repertoire, and Rehearsal Techniques
    4 cr MUSC 795 or APMU 740, Thesis or Graduate Recital
    2 cr MUSC 575, Music Ensembles
    9 cr Advanced History, Bibliography, and Music Theory
    4 cr Electives