The department numbers approximately 6-8 MM candidates and 5-6 DMA candidates (one or two in each concentration).
Degree programs with a major in conducting
Conducting majors are offered on the master’s and doctoral levels. MM students with a major in choral conducting study choral literature and rehearsal techniques. The MM in orchestral conducting gives the aspiring conductor insights into the professional conductor’s workshop. Not only are advanced technical problems dissected and discussed, but emphasis is placed on rehearsal technique and the relationship between technique and rehearsing. DMA conducting majors, while concentrating on a specialization, also conduct in areas other than their principal repertory. A feature of the conducting program is regular tutorial sessions, given in conjunction with a significant amount of contact hours with the School’s ensembles. In addition, a diploma in sacred music may be combined with a degree in choral conducting.
Entrance to the program is based on a pre-screening videotape and a rehearsal segment with one of Eastman’s orchestras as well as test placements in theory and ear training. The program, while stressing rehearsal, guarantees several performance possibilities with an Eastman ensemble.
Although there is no undergraduate major in conducting, undergraduates may elect courses such as basic, intermediate, and advanced instrumental and choral conducting; wind ensemble repertory; choral repertory; and contemporary music performance practices. (Some courses require special approval for undergraduates.) Music education majors and organ performance majors are required to take conducting courses as part of their curriculum. Opportunities for self-initiated performances abound at Eastman. Future conductors are particularly apt to take advantage of these.