Graduate Studies

Graduate Students

Kari Adams

Women's Chorus Director

Charlotte Botha

Dallas Symphony Chorus Conducting Associate, Choral Librarian

Brian C. Murray

University Singers Conducting Associate, Collegium Singers Conducting Associate, Instructor of Fundamentals of Conducting

Samuel Sweet

A Cappella Choir Conducting Associate, Assistant to the Director of Choral Activities

Francis Vu

Concert Choir Conducting Associate, Men's Chorus Director

Graduate Program Information

Choral Conductor Choral Conducting Studies Application Information Graduate Handbook


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

Choral Literature: 
The choral literature sequence is divided into three courses: Choral Lit 1 (Renaissance / Baroque); Choral Lit 2 (Classical / Romantic); and Choral Lit 3 (20th Century). All courses are taught by Dr. Joshua Habermann.
Advanced Choral Techniques:
Taught by Dr. Kristina MacMullen, this course 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
The UNT Choral Program is comprised of nine university choirs. Check the performance 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. Workshops and/or classes have been given by visiting artists, including:

2016-17 Brad Wells, Conductor of Room Full of Teeth and Artist-In-Residence at Williams College

2017-18 Conducting Masterclass with Dr. Joshua Habermann in residence with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale

2018-19 Conducting Masterclasses with Dr. Jerry McCoy, UNT Regents Professor of Music Emeritus; and Alejandro Gómez Guillén, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor

2019-20 Conducting Masterclasses with Dr. Eric Nelson, Director of Choral Studies at Emory University and Artistic Director of the Atlanta Master Chorale; Don Neuen, UCLA Distinguished Professor of Conducting Emeritus; Dr. Jerry McCoy, UNT Regents Professor of Music Emeritus; and Dr. Joshua Habermann in residence with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale

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 Applications are due by the first Monday in December.

DMA: January 27, 2020
MM: January 28, 2020

N.B.: We generally audition no more than 8 candidates on these dates.

DMA Audition Day Sample Schedule
8:30am – meet with current graduate students
9:30am – meet with director of choral studies
10:15am – individual preparation time
11:00am – lunch with audition panel as available
12:00pm – auditions with A Cappella Choir
1:00pm-4:00pm – interviews* with audition panel in 15-20 minute slots
MM Audition Day Sample Schedule
9:00am – meet with current graduate students
10:00am – meet with director of choral studies
11:00am – lunch with audition panel as available
12:00pm-1:00pm – observe A Cappella Choir rehearsal
1:00pm – individual preparation time
2:00pm – auditions with Concert Choir
3:00pm-5:00pm – interviews* with audition panel in 15-20 minute slots


*The interview will include vocalizing and skills testing. Please bring an art song / aria to perform.


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 January 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 1.

Application Process
Go to the College of Music website 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. The earlier we receive your materials, the earlier we can make this determination.

Audition Repertoire

The candidate will be assigned two pieces for the audition. The first piece is to be conducted straight through the work (or movement, giving the audition panel an opportunity see the candidate's artistry and physical communication skills as a conductor; the candidate may not coach the choir verbally. For the second piece, the candidate will rehearse for approximately 6-8 minutes. The aim is to make as much difference in the performance of the piece or section as possible in the allotted time.

Audition Panel
Dr. Allen Hightower, Director of Choral Studies
Dr. Kristina MacMuellen, Associate Professor of Choral Music
Dr. Jessica Nápoles, Interim Chair of the Division of Conducting & Ensembles and Associate Professor of Music Education
Dr. Joshua Habermann, Lecturer and Director, Dallas Symphony Chorus