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Conducting M.A., D.M.A.

UI music student conducts a symphony band concert.

As a small department within a large School of Music, we offer graduate students the best of both worlds: excellent access to research libraries, stimulating performance opportunities, and ample teaching opportunities, all with a maximum of individualized attention from faculty.

Choral Conducting

Contact information: Timothy Stalter, Director of Choral Activities, 319-335-1677,

Orchestral Conducting

Description of the orchestral conducting program: 

The orchestral conducting program trains the next generation of conductors for both the professional world and academia, depending on the profile/goals of each conductor. There will be two fully funded openings for the upcoming year (DMA and/or MA) with a stipend (TA 25% and 50% available), and one non-funded position (DMA or MA).

As podium time is critical for conducting students, they will have opportunities to conduct multiple ensembles: the Lab Ensemble twice weekly, UISO (University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra) as assistant ​conductors in sectionals, full rehearsals, and run-throughs, CSO (Campus Symphony Orchestra). Each graduate student, depending on their availability, will also have at least one opportunity to assist and conduct one performance of an opera or musical theater performance.

During the studies, a serious emphasis will be put on basic aural training ​such as score reading/singing, transpositions, knowledge of styles and instruments, lyric diction, inner hearing, and everything pertaining to become an excellent and competitive conductor.  
The conducting student will also ​develop effective rehearsal techniques, create programs for educational and pops concerts, and receive expert guidance ​in applications for competitions, auditions, masterclasses, and jobs.

The curriculum offers a broad array of skills ​that prepare students for careers as an Assistant to a Music Director, a Music Director, a Youth Symphony Music Director, Director of Orchestral Studies, etc.

The Orchestral Conducting program is developing partnerships with professional ensembles across the U.S. For example, during the 2022-23 season, all ​conducting students are offered, under certain conditions, ​the opportunity to cover at least one series ​with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, PA, and the Lexington Philharmonic, KY. 

Ideal recruits: exceptional musicianship; podium experience; potential to develop a career; excellent pulse and ability to say any complex rhythms; excellent ears; ability to sight-sing any orchestral part; knowledge of the instruments and voices; broad knowledge of repertoire; knowledge of solfège is a plus;  excellent spoken and written American English; understanding of the American orchestral landscape; excellent interpersonal skills; empathy; ability to study and work under stress while staying calm; hard worker; ability to self-critic and receive comments with an open mind; organizational skills; communication skills; promptness; ambitious while respectful of others; quick at using/learning technological tools; ability to use a music software is a plus.


  1. A written statement describing personal interest in a graduate degree in orchestral conducting, plus expectations and aspirations following degree studies.  
  2. A resume which includes performing instrument, academic information, professional experiences as a performer and/or conductor, and references (email and phone number to be included) 
  3. A Vimeo or Youtube link (without password) to a 10–15-minute video (up to 4 contrasting excerpts), in frontal view, featuring if possible both rehearsal and performance. 
  4. A Vimeo or Youtube link (without password) to a 2-minute video introducing yourself and stating why you decided to become a conductor. 

The deadline is December 1st to submit all materials.

Successful applicants being considered for a TA will be invited for an audition on campus in January or February 2023.  

Contact information: Melisse Brunet, Director of Orchestras, 319-467-4224,

Wind Conducting

Admission Requirement

Applicants should contact Dr.. Heidel ( immediately upon deciding to apply to the graduate wind conducting program. 

  1. Applicants will be assigned a wind band composition to analyze.
  2. Applicants are required to submit a video of a rehearsal and/or performance (frontal view).
  3. Finalists will have a Zoom interview/conducting lesson with faculty.

Contact information: Richard Mark Heidel, Director of Bands, 319-335-1635,