Graduate Studies

Choral Conductor Choral Conducting Studies Application Information


Advanced Choral Conducting: 
Weekly studio and master class conducting lessons taught by Dr. Allen Hightower

Choral Literature: Dr. Joshua Haberman

Advanced Choral Techniques:
Summer course taught by Dr. Allen Hightower. Includes studies in defining the drama in choral music; defining a sound ideal; voice building for choirs; concert programming; developing interpretive analyses; rehearsal techniques and preparation; musical/poetic architecture; contemporary trends; and resources in literature

Advanced Conducting and Score Study:
Techniques in preparation and analysis of major choral/orchestral scores. Taught by Prof. Dennis Fisher.

The UNT Choral Program is comprised of six university choirs and a collegium. Check the Calendar for upcoming choral concerts.

Choral Conducting Studies

UNT's graduate choral conducting program is one of America's premier programs. Led by Dr. Allen Hightower, Director of Choral Studies, the program consists of practical and academic studies leading to the development of musical skills crucial to the success of the next generation of American choral conductors.

UNT choral conducting students are afforded annual opportunities to learn from leaders in the choral art from around the globe. Recently the UNT choral program has hosted concerts by the New Zealand Youth Choir and the Seoul Korea Students Glee Club. Workshops and/or classes have been given by visiting artists, including:

Anton Armstrong, St. Olaf College
Simon Carrington, Yale University
Bob Chilcott, conductor and composer
David Davidson, conductor, Dallas Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Rodney Eichenberger, professor emeritus, Florida State University
Maria Guinand, professor emeritus, Simon Bolivar University, Caracas, Venezuela
Ann Howard Jones, Boston University
Graeme Jenkins, conductor, Dallas Opera
James Jordan, Westminster Choir College
Jaako Mantyjarvi, Finnish conductor and composer
Robert Sund, conductor, Orphei Dranger and professor emeritus, Stockholm Conservatory of Music
Bruce Browne, Portland State University and Choral Cross-Ties, director emeritus
Pat Gardner, Rutgers University and the Riverside Choral Society

Application Information

Application Materials: Apply online here. Once completed forms and all required materials have been received and evaluated, the choral faculty will invite selected applicants to campus for an interview and audition with one of our university choirs. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Allen Hightower at 940-369-8389 or Applications are due by the first Monday in December.

Graduate Choral Studies On-Campus Audition Date: Monday, January 30, 2017
We generally audition no more than 8 candidates on this date.

Audition Day Schedule
Noon - Lunch with Dr. Hightower and panel as available
1:00 - Meet with current graduate students
2:00 - Auditions with the UNT A Cappella Choir
3:30 - Interviews with the panel in 15-20 minute slots 
The interview schedule is set when the candidates arrive on campus. The interview will also include some vocalizing.


Your video should include rehearsal and performances recordings of your conducting. The camera should face the conductor. Video submissions may be in digital upload or DVD format.

Application Deadline
Because our on-campus choral conducting audition date is in mid-February and it takes several weeks for the application materials to clear the university, the college and finally get to us, you would be well served if your application packet got to us no later than December 1st . Early December is preferred.

Application Process
Go to the College of Music web site and apply online. Be sure to include a video of your conducting (view of the conductor) comprised of rehearsal and performance.

On-Campus Audition
Once we receive and evaluate your materials, we will make a determination about inviting you to campus for an audition and interview. We will do our best to let you know at least a month before the on-campus audition date:January 30, 2017. The earlier we receive your materials, the earlier we can make this determination.

Audition Process
The student will conduct 2 pieces in the audition.

Piece #1: Title to be assigned by the Director of Choral Studies. The candidate will conduct straight through the work (or movement), giving the audition panel an opportunity to see the candidate's artistry and physical communication skills a conductor. The candidate may not coach the choir verbally.

Piece #2: Title to be decided upon by the candidate and the Director of Choral Studies. The candidate will choose an episode of the work and rehearse it for approximately 6-8 minutes. The aim is to make as much difference in the performance of the episode as possible in the allotted time.

Auditions Panel
Dr. Allen Hightower, Director of Choral Studies
Dr. Richard Sparks, Chair of Conducting and Ensembles
Dr. Joshua Habermann, Lecturer and Director, Dallas Symphony Orchestra Choruses