Graduate Studies

Graduate Students

Jacob Augsten

Fundamentals of Conducting Instructor, University Singers Teaching Assistant, Dallas Symphony Chorus

Dong Hyun Kang

Concert Choir Conducting Associate, A Cappella Choir Conducting Associate

J. Christine Le

Camerata Teaching Fellow, University Singers Teaching Assistant, Assistant to the Director of Choral Studies

Kenneth Sieloff

Chorale Teaching Fellow, Choral Librarian

Graduate Program Information

Choral Conductor Choral Conducting Studies Application Information



Conducting Lessons (MUAM 5533 / 6533):

Marques L. A. Garrett teaches weekly studio conducting lessons. Choral conducting majors will enroll in private conducting lessons each semester until they complete their requirements. Additionally, each Thursday afternoon from 3:00-3:50 PM is our weekly studio class in conducting and rehearsal techniques. This access to three choral professionals is an invaluable part of your education at UNT. During this weekly studio class, graduate choral conductors have the opportunity to lead the Conductors' Chorus, a paid chamber choir, reinforced by members of the choral conducting studio.

Advanced Choral Techniques (MUAG 5000):

Taught by Allen Hightower, this course includes: studies in defining the drama in choral music; defining a sound ideal; voice building for choirs; concert programming; dynamic formation in performance; developing interpretive analyses; rehearsal techniques and preparation; musical/poetic architecture; and contemporary trends in performance.

Choral Literature (MUAG 5810, 5811, 5812):

The choral literature sequence, taught by Joshua Habermann, is divided into three courses: Choral Literature 1 (Renaissance/Baroque); Choral Literature 2 (Classical / Romantic); and Choral Literature 3 (20th Century).

Advanced Choral Conducting (MUAG 5800):

Taught by Allen Hightower, this course includes: the continued development of appropriate physical gestures; listening skills related to conducting; fluency of movement language as it impacts musical outcomes/pedagogy of teaching conducting; teaching conducting in the private studio; and score analysis/period performance practice with specific attention to recitative conducting technique.

Conducting Recitals (MUGC 6951 / 6952 / 6953):

Graduate choral conductors will accomplish their recitals in two ways: (1) composite cameo appearances as the assistant conductor of A Cappella, University Singers, Concert Choir, and Vox Aquilae; (2) complete recitals while serving as the conductor of Camerata or Chorale. The Choral Studies Handbook contains more detailed information regarding graduate conducting recital requirements and procedures.

The UNT Choral Program is comprised of nine ensembles. Check the ensembles page for information about each choir. 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:

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

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

2017-18 Conducting Masterclass with 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.

Monday, January 29, 2024
Tuesday, January 30, 2024.
N.B.: We generally audition no more than 8 candidates on these dates.
Audition Day Sample Schedule
9:00am – meet with current graduate students
10:00am – meet with Allen Hightower, Director of Choral Studies, and conducting lessons with Marques L. A. Garrett
11:00am – lunch with audition panel as available
12:00pm-1:00pm – observe rehearsals
1:00pm – individual preparation time
2:00pm – auditions 
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 are to be a digital upload.
Application Deadline
Because our on-campus choral conducting audition dates are January 29 and 30, 2024, 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, 2023. Early November 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 notify you of an on-campus audition request at least a month before the audition date. The earlier we receive your materials, the earlier we can make this determination.
Audition Process
The student will conduct two pieces in the audition to be assigned by the Director of Choral Studies. 
Audition Panel
Allen Hightower, Professor, Director of Choral Studies
Marques L. A. Garrett, Associate Professor of Choral Studies
Jessica Nápoles, Professor of Music Education