Graduate Studies

Graduate Students

Jordan Boyd

Chorale Conductor, Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Chorus

Thomas Gerber

A Cappella Conducting Associate, Choral Librarian

Kateri Lavacek

Concert Choir Conducting Associate, Chorale Conducting Associate

McKenna Stenson

Vox Aquilae Conducting Associate, Kalandra Conducting Associate

Francis Vu

University Singers Conducting Associate, Instructor of Fundamentals of Conducting, Instructor of Foundations in Music


Graduate Program Information

Choral Conductor Choral Conducting Studies Application Information Graduate Handbook

GRADUATE CHORAL CONDUCTING COURSES

Conducting Lessons (MUAM 5533 / 6533):
Dr. Hightower 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 3:00-4:00 PM is our weekly studio class in conducting and rehearsal techniques, taught by Drs. Hightower and MacMullen. Dr. Nápoles is present most weeks and contributes a great deal through observation and feedback. 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 Dr. Kristina MacMullen, 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. (Next offered in the fall of 2020)

 

Choral Literature (MUAG 5810, 5811, 5812): 
The choral literature sequence, taught by Dr. 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 Dr. Kristina MacMullen, 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. (Next offered in the Fall of 2021)

 

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, Vox Aquilae, and Kalandra; (2) complete recitals while serving as the conductor of Chorale. The Choral Studies Handbook contains more detailed information regarding graduate conducting recital requirements and procedures.

 

Ensembles:
The UNT Choral Program is comprised of nine university choirs. 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

APPLICATIONS
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 Allen.Hightower@unt.edu. Applications are due by the first Monday in December.

AUDITION DATES
Monday, January 25, 2021
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 
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 director of choral studies
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.
 
AUDITION INFORMATION
Video 
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 dates are January 25 & 26 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, 2021. 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
Dr. Allen Hightower, Director of Choral Studies
Dr. Kristina MacMullen, Associate Professor of Choral Studies
Dr. Jessica Nápoles, Interim Chair of Conducting & Ensembles, Associate Professor of Music Education
Dr. Joshua Habermann, Lecturer and Director, Dallas Symphony Orchestra Choruses