Wind Band Conducting

Graduate Wind Band Conducting Program

Important: our deadline is December 1 for the following school year

The graduate programs in Wind Band Conducting, under the direction of Kevin M. Geraldi, offer a student-centered environment designed to help each individual gain the tools, knowledge, and training necessary to succeed in any position as an instrumental conductor. Based in a belief that conducting is comprehensive musicianship, students build on strengths in their current skill set while developing new musicianship and conducting skills.

The music faculty of the University of Illinois considers study in music history, theory, and related fields essential components of a conductor's preparation. The School of Music maintains an excellent library, distinguished faculty, and well-trained staff. In addition, Illinois Bands has the largest and oldest university performance library collection in the world, as well as the famous Sousa Archives and Center for American Music located in the Harding Band Building. These amazing historic libraries provide some of the world's finest research capabilities for our graduate students. The performing ensembles, which are composed entirely of students, differ in size, purpose, and repertoire. Collectively they provide an outstanding musical laboratory for those enrolled in the conducting program.

Application Procedure for both MM and DMA 

All applicants to the MM and DMA must apply to the University of Illinois School of Music by December 1 for Fall admission

International applicants, whose native language is not English, must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score.

Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Band Conducting:

  1. Submit a prescreening video of approximately 20 minutes which includes conducting in both rehearsal and performance. For both, the camera should be placed at the back of the ensemble with the focus on the front of the conductor. Include the date(s) and name of the performing ensemble(s).  Both small and large ensemble excerpts are acceptable. Rehearsal segments must be conducted in English. Please take one minute at the beginning of your video to introduce yourself and briefly describe your goals in pursuing a graduate degree in conducting. Please click here for prescreening submission questions.
  2. Upload a repertory list of conducted wind band works performed to the "Program-Specific Questions" in the University Application.  
  3. DMA Applicants (only) need to submit a 10-20 page paper representative of scholarly work.

A limited number of applicants will be invited to audition. Invited applicants will be contacted soon after January 1 to arrange an on-campus audition. Interviews and additional testing will take place at the live auditions.

Wind Band Conducting audition dates: to be arranged with candidates


Course of Study

Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting - Wind Band Emphasis

12 Hours - MUS 540, Graduate Wind Band Conducting
  4 Hours - MUS 554, Wind Band Literature & History 1
  2 Hours - MUS 528, Problems and Methods
  8 Hours - Advanced History, Performance Practice, or Music Theory
  6 Hours - Electives
Total - 32 Hours

Doctor of Musical Arts in Instrumental Conducting - Wind Band Emphasis

16 Hours - MUS 573, Doctoral Wind Band Conducting
  4 Hours - MUS 554, Wind Band Literature & History 1
  4 Hours - MUS 578, Wind Band Literature & History 2 (Chamber Winds focus)
  4 Hours - MUS 568, Advanced Instrumentation 
  4 Hours - MUS 528, Problems and Methods
  4 Hours - Advanced Music History or Performance Practice
  4 Hours - Advanced Music Theory
  8-16 Hours - Cognate Field or Minor
  8 Hours - Electives
  8 Hours - MUS 576, Doctoral Project
Total - 64 Hours

Both masters and doctoral conducting students should refer to the program of study for foreign language and placement exam information.