Graduate Orchestral Conducting

Graduate Orchestral Conducting

As a student in the graduate orchestral conducting program at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, you will be part of a thriving and supportive musical community that prepares you for a life in today’s professional music world.

You will have weekly conducting lessons and conducting seminar classes. In addition to set skills of score study, physical coordination and the development of a gestural vocabulary, you will work together with your professor to devise a tailor-made collection of topics such as keyboard skills, ear training or solfege, and theory. Other topics can include career development and rehearsal technique at all levels – professional through amateur, programming or repertoire acquisition.

As a graduate orchestral conducting degree student, your opportunities to engage in performances are many. You will participate in UNCSA Symphony Orchestra rehearsals and rehearsals of the Triad Area Medical Orchestra that is sponsored by UNCSA. You may also have the chance to lead the Symphony Orchestra and Triad Area Medical Orchestra, as well as UNCSA’s nu Ensemble, Nutcracker Orchestra and/or Opera orchestra rehearsals. You may be given performance opportunities through these ensembles too.

Master of Music

Being immersed in a campus entirely dedicated to the arts makes UNCSA a unique place for you to pursue your passion. As a graduate conducting student, you will have the opportunity to learn ballet and opera, symphonic scores and new music, sinfonietta pieces and full orchestra works. Our conducting faculty works with every level of ensembles – top-flight US professional orchestras through amateur groups – and knows how to make any group of players create a convincing performance. UNCSA’s environment is suited to your individual interests, so you have the chance to meet your own needs and professional goals. 

In addition to private lessons and conducting seminars, you will take Career Strategies courses that strengthen skills needed in the professional world, like those for auditions, entrepreneurship, recording and portfolio preparation. You will participate in all departmental juries and perform graduate-level recitals each year.

Professional Artist Certificate

If you already have a graduate degree, you may also choose to pursue a Professional Artist Certificate. This post-master’s program is designed to advance your career potential as a young professional conductor. If you are interested in independent studies offered through this program, you are encouraged to propose a one-year course of study that is tailored to your interests and experience.


UNCSA alumni are currently the music directors of the Boise Philharmonic, Reno Philharmonic, Windsor Symphony Orchestra and the associate conductor of the Houston Symphony. Alumni have worked as conductors in major cities around the country including New York City, Boston and Chicago, among many others.