Master of Music in Conducting: Choral
General. The Conducting major is a two-year curriculum with rigorous demands. Only candidates possessing a strong background and broad combination of skills should audition. Students will be considered upon completion of the fourth semester of the conducting sequence. The audition will include conducting a self-recruited and a self-prepared ensemble, an interview with the conducting committee, and a diagnostic examination consisting of sight singing, aural skills, score reading and score playing at the keyboard, knowledge of historical style periods, and theoretical analysis; and an audition, to be heard by the conducting faculty, on the applicant’s principal instrument or voice.
Prerequisites. Students applying for the choral conducting program must have satisfied the following prerequisites for admission:
i. APST 360 (Advanced Choral Conducting) and APST 361 (Conducting IV: Advanced Choral Conducting)
ii. APST 214 (Keyboard Skills I) or demonstrated equivalent profiency in piano
iii. At least one music theory (MUTH) course (4.0 credits) at the 300 level or above. Additionally, students must have completed or tested out of the four-semester music theory and aural skills sequence (Music Theory I-IV and Aural Skills I-IV) before applying to the conducting program.
iv. Four full courses (16 credits) of musicology, including MHST 101. One of these courses must be MHST 226 (Music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance)
v. At least one semester (4.0 credits total) of Frech, German, or Italian language study.
vi. One semester (2.0 credits) of LANG 100 (English Diction) and one semester (2.0 credits) of either LANG 101 (Italian Diction), LANG 200 (German Diction), or LANG 201 (French Diction).
At the time students are auditioned for the conducting major, they must be
i. currently enrolled in good academic standing as an Oberlin student,
ii. maintaining a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, and
iii. successfully completing three years of any of the following undergraduate degree programs at the Oberlin Conservatory: performance, composition, technology in music and related arts, or musicology.
It is understood that students will probably have to extend the Bachelor’s degree program so that both degrees will be completed at the end of five years.
Non-Course Requirement. Graduate Listening Exam. The faculty of the Division of Vocal Studies and the Division of Conducting and Ensembles will construct and administer a listening exam to be taken in the fall of the fifth year by Master of Music degree students of the Division. The faculty will choose pieces from a Common Listening List and a list compiled by the faculty of the Division. At least 50 percent will be chosen from the Common List. The exam may be retaken until successfully passed. Any student failing the exam will be given a written appraisal of the areas of weakness that led to the failure. The exam must be passed before the Degree will be granted.
Performance Requirements. Students must conduct a minimum of three pieces in performance, as approved by the faculty. Additionally, students must conduct at least one piece on a large-ensemble concert, as approved by the faculty.
Comprehensive Examination. A comprehensive final examination, both written and oral, is required in the final month of study. The examination will be administered by a committee convened by the student with the consent of his or her advisor.