Valdosta State University offers a highly competitive Master of Music in wind conducting program, giving students opportunities to conduct a broad range of ensembles in preparation for a professional conducting career. The art of conducting will be examined from the perspective of gesture, movement, score study, aural skills, and rehearsal technique. Significant attention is given to contemporary music and the development of the wind band as a serious artistic medium.
All applicants for the Master of Music in wind conducting degree must have an undergraduate degree in music and must demonstrate excellent musicianship; ability to work well with university faculty, college-age students, and music professionals; and public speaking skills.
Applicants who have a minimum of two years of documented successful professional level conducting experience will be given significant consideration. This may include public school teaching, conducting a professional or semi-professional ensemble, or other equivalent professional arenas.
Application Deadline and Procedure
January 1 for priority consideration for graduate assistantships.
- Complete the online application to the Valdosta State University Graduate School.
- Send preliminary audition materials (listed below) via email to:
Benjamin Harper, DMA
Director of Bands
- Faculty review of materials and invitation to audition.
- On-campus audition and interview.
Preliminary Audition Materials
A completed application to the Valdosta State University Graduate School is required before a candidate will be considered.
In addition to a completed application to the Graduate School, send the following materials to Dr. Benjamin Harper (firstname.lastname@example.org) via email by January 1:
- Resume or curriculum vitae in PDF format.
- Links to YouTube/Vimeo/Google Drive/etc. videos of the candidate conducting at least two compositions in performance and two compositions in rehearsal. The conductor must be in full frontal or a partial profile view and at least part of the ensemble must be in view. The repertoire selected for the videos must be appropriate to the musical and technical abilities of the ensemble.
- A list of three references who can speak to the applicant’s musical abilities. Include name, professional title, relationship to applicant, address, phone number with area code, and email address.
Faculty Review of Materials and Invitation to Audition
Upon faculty review of submitted materials, a limited number of finalists will be invited to an on-campus audition and interview on a specific audition date. Finalists will be notified several weeks in advance of the audition date. While auditions are anticipated to take place in February or early March, no applicant should make travel arrangements until they have been invited for an audition.
Audition and Interview
The audition and interview process consists of three parts:
- An interview with the Director of Bands discussing the candidate’s professional goals, teaching philosophy, and experience.
- Musical skills and knowledge diagnostic, including aural skills, score recognition, and knowledge of wind/percussion instruments and musical terminology.
- A 20-minute audition with the VSU Wind Ensemble adjudicated by the heads of the conducting divisions. The audition will begin with a run-through to assess non-verbal communication and gesture. The candidate will be asked to make several adjustments to their conducting. The audition will conclude with the candidate rehearsing the piece in the remaining time.
An anticipated opening in athletic bands is available beginning August 1, 2022. Duties include assisting in the administration, planning, and operation of all faces of the athletic band program. Graduate assistants will also assist in all facets of the concert band program, including significant conducting time on podium, teaching, and administration.
An $8,000 stipend and full tuition waiver are available for two years (four semesters).
For more information
Benjamin Harper, DMA
Director of Bands