Orchestral and Choral

The graduate Conducting programs at Boston University combine study of orchestral and choral conducting techniques and literature with related work in performance, music theory, and musicology. The setting, residing within the structure both of a school of music and of a major research university, is vibrant and intimate. Conducting students, whether specializing in orchestral conducting or in choral conducting, join a diverse community of scholar-performers, led by distinguished, creative, and experienced faculty. In addition, the School of Music supports active centers of early music and new music.

Orchestral conductors study their principal area throughout their residency and concurrently, for a portion of their residency, study choral conducting. Similarly, choral conductors study orchestral conducting as part of their curriculum. As part of their formal training, orchestral conductors work in rehearsal and performance with the School of Music orchestras, and choral conductors work with the choral ensembles. Boston’s deep and thriving musical environment also offers energetic and creative students many possibilities for extra-curricular involvement both with amateur and with professional musical organizations.

The choral literature surveys at both the master’s and doctoral levels are significant to the Choral Conducting curriculum. With the graduate conducting seminars, these repertoire surveys offer in-depth and thorough examination of style, sources, and performance practice and application, fully complementary to the academic offerings and requirements of graduate study in choral conducting.

Degrees Offered

  • Master of Music (MM)
  • Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
  • Master of Sacred Music (MSM) — offered through the School of Theology

Typical Class Sizes

Orchestral Conducting

There are only two or three graduate Orchestral Conducting students in residence at any time; they may be either MM or DMA students. Orchestral Conducting students who come to study at Boston University typically enter the program with highly developed, experienced musical and conducting backgrounds, and they are fully on the level with the most mature and advanced of the School’s instrumentalists.

Choral Conducting

The graduate Choral Conducting studio varies in size year to year, but is constructed on a model where students benefit from group instruction, rather than private lessons. Typically, there are 10 to 12 students in residence at any time, all of whom actively participate in each other’s learning process, as well as providing leadership with School of Music choral ensembles.

Unique Opportunities

Because the School of Music Conducting enrollment is intentionally small, students enjoy close contact with their mentors, colleagues, other musicians and composers, and conducting opportunities of an informal nature present themselves with some frequency. Both Orchestral and Choral graduate conducting students also have a history of involving themselves in the large, active professional and amateur Boston musical communities beyond the School of Music, numbers of them having become assistant conductors for some of these organizations. In addition, quite a few have formed their own choral ensembles, chamber ensembles, new music ensembles and orchestras, some of which have thrived beyond the conductor’s study at BU and continue to contribute to the wealth of musical activity in Boston.

Graduate conductors work closely with the School of Music orchestral or choral ensembles. The orchestral conductors appear with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra and/or Chamber Orchestra, both leading performances and serving as active assistant conductors to the ensembles’ conductors. When appropriate to the needs of the ensembles and the skills of the graduate conductor, students also lead sectional rehearsals on the repertoire under preparation.

Likewise, the choral conductors serve on a rotating basis as assistant conductors with the Boston University Symphonic Chorus and the Boston University Singers, leading performances and sectionals as need arises, and as skills and experience permit. Conducting Fellowships are also available at Marsh Chapel for graduate students in choral conducting.

Faculty Members—Conducting Faculty and Ensemble Directors

  • Jennifer Bill

    Lecturer in Music, Saxophone; Conductor, Concert Band

  • Neal Hampton

    Associate Director of Orchestral Activities

  • William Lumpkin

    Associate Professor of Music, Opera; Artistic Director, Opera Institute; Director, Opera Programs; Chair, Ensembles

  • David J. Martins

    Master Lecturer of Music, Clarinet; Director , Wind Ensemble

  • Mark Miller

    Lecturer in Music; Director, All-Campus Orchestra

  • Bramwell Tovey

    Associate Professor of Music, Director of Orchestral Activities

Notable Alumni and Principal Positions

David Arrivée, MM
California Polytechnic State University, Associate Professor
Cal Poly Symphony, Director

Zachary Bruno, DMA
Skyline College (CA), Associate Professor; Director of Orchestras and Bands

Tiffany Chang, DMA
New England Repertory Orchestra, Founder and Music Director
Boston University Chamber Orchestra, Conductor
Berklee School of Music, Conducting Faculty

Michalis Economu, MM (Conducting), DMA (Composition)
Athens Municipality Symphony Orchestra, Chief Conductor
Athens Technical University Music Department, Chairman and Artistic Director
Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Past Music Director

Neal Hampton, MM
Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra, Music Director

Jin Kim, AD
Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (MA), Music Director

Geneviève Leclair, DMA
Boston Ballet Orchestra, Assistant Conductor
Parkway Concert Orchestra (Boston), Music Director

Eric Lindholm, MM
Pomona College Orchestra, Conductor
Pomona College, Professor

Daniel Meyer, MM
Asheville (NC) Symphony, Music Director
Erie (PA) Philharmonic, Music Director
Pittsburgh Symphony, Former Resident Conductor
Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, Former Music Director

Francisco Noya, MM
Berklee College of Music, Assistant Professor; Conducting Faculty
Rhode Island Philharmonic, Resident Conductor

Samuel Pascoe, DMA
Coro pro Musica (Mexico City), Music Director
Academia de Mexico Orchestra, Conductor
National Autonomous University of Mexico Chamber Orchestra, Conductor

Kostis Protopapas, MM
Tulsa Opera, Artistic Director

Lan Shui, MM, AD
Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Music Director
Copenhagen Symphony Orchestra, Chief Conductor
Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Former Associate Conductor
Baltimore Symphony, Former Conducting Affiliate

Jenny Bent, BM, MM
Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, CA), Director of Choral Activities

Martín Benvenuto, DMA
Peninsula Women’s Chorus (Bay Area, CA), Artistic Director
WomenSing (Bay Area, CA)

Jason Bishop, MM
Drew University, Director of Choral and Vocal Studies, Assistant Professor
The Greater South Jersey Chorus, Artistic Director

Sean Burton, MM
Brian Cliff University (Sioux City), Director of Choral Activities, Associate Professor
Siouxland Choral Artists, Founding Artistic Director and Conductor
National Collegiate Choral Organization, Chief Editor of Publications

Andrew Clark, DM
Harvard University, Director of Choral Activities

Drew Collins, MM
Connecticut State University, Director of Choral Activities
Central Connecticut State University (New Britain), Director of Choral Activities

Eric Esparza, DMA
DePaul University, Director of Choral Activities

Miguel Felipe, MM, DMA
University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, Director of Choral Activities, Assistant Professor
Lutheran Church of Honolulu, Director of Music and Liturgy

Katherine FitzGibbon, DMA
Lewis and Clark College (Portland, OR), Director of Choral Activities, Assistant Professor
Resonance Ensemble (Portland, OR), Artistic Director

Matthew Garrett, MM
Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland), Director of Choirs, Assistant Professor

Jamie Hillman, DMA
Gordon College (MA), Assistant Professor of Music

Scott Allen Jarrett, MM, DMA
Boston University, Director of Choral Activities ad interim
Music at Marsh Chapel (Boston University), Director of Music
Back Bay Chorale (Boston), Music Director
Charlotte (NC) Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor, Director of Choruses

Stephen Kingsbury, MM
Southwest Minnesota State University (Marshall), Director of Choral Activities, Assistant Professor

Kol Arev (Boston), Music Director
Hebrew College School of Music, Faculty
New England Conservatory, Former Director of Choruses

Michael McGaghie, MM, DMA
Macalester College (St. Paul), Director of Choral Activities, Assistant Professor

Ryan Murphy, DMA
Mormon Tabernacle Choir (Salt Lake City), Associate Music Director

Joshua Nannestad, DMA
Southeastern Oklahoma University, Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education

Christine Noel, MM, DMA
Providence (RI) Singers, Artistic Director
Rhode Island Children’s Chorus (Providence), Founder and Artistic Director

Anthony Trecek-King, DMA (in progress)
Boston Children’s Chorus, Artistic Director

Julian Wachner, BM, DMA (Composition)
Trinity Wall Street, Director of the Music and the Arts (Trinity Choir, Trinity Baroque Orchestra)
The Washington Chorus, Artistic Director

Timothy Westerhaus, MM, DMA
Gonzaga University (Spokane), Director of Choral Activities

Beth Willer, MM, DMA
Lorelei Ensemble (Boston), Founder and Artistic Director
Radcliffe Choral Society, Harvard University, Resident Conductor

Katie Woolf, MM
Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts, Director of Choral and Vocal Music