Graduate Students

Graduate Choral Conducting at UNL

Chamber singers picture in the Sheldon Museum of Art

Graduate choral music at UNL gives Masters and Doctoral choral conducting students numerous, thorough, and varied activities to further their craft, the choral art, and their careers. Most importantly, classes, rehearsals, research, labs, and activities will continue to "sharpen the ax" of the conductor.
Instrumental and opera students in graduate choral conducting have the opportunity to cross over to another genre; working with specialists in opera, wind ensemble, chamber music, and orchestral opportunities are available and encouraged.
Students in the UNL choral conducting classes conduct other musicians accompanied by graduate level pianists, not recordings. The graduate lab classes are comprised of other singers, volunteers, future conductors, and peers. Undergraduate choral conducting students may audition for positions in the graduate classes. Graduate students frequently coach undergraduate choral conductors.


The graduate conducting and literature courses (offered concurrently) are aligned in four 100-150 year course sequences:
Renaissance (1450-1600)
Baroque (1600-1750)
Classic / Romantic (1750-1900)
Twentieth Century / New-Millennium 1900-present)

Distinguished Choral Scholarship Residency Program: With the newly established Betty and Lee Kjelson Distinguished Choral Scholarship Residency Program, choral conductors here are treated to a ten-year residency program that will bring many of the world's greatest choral minds and conductors to our great campus to share their knowledge and work with our students conductors and choirs. Recent conductors have included Ann Howard Jones, Weston Noble (on three separate occasions), Eph Ehly, André Thomas, Doreen Rao, and Mack Wilberg. Dr. Jerry Blackstone of the University of Michigan was with us in 2010.

UNL's long established graduate voice program continues to attract outstanding singers to Lincoln. UNL's premier choirs are filled with both graduate students in choral music, vocal performance majors, upperclassmen in music education, and other smart/talented upperclassmen from a variety of cross-campus colleges and majors. Check UNL's choral ensemble list and ensemble descriptions in this web site.

A prodigious full-time voice/opera faculty continues to attract fine singers regionally, nationally, and internationally. Our conducting students have opportunities to study under fine performer/scholars and improve their knowledge of the vocal instrument. Fine diction courses and vocal pedagogy studies here enable the conductor to be far more effective on the podium.

Regional choral opportunities include the nationally renowned Abendmusik Chorus and the Plymouth Music Series. Numerous local churches hire conductors and paid section leader/singers. Opportunities abound.

Past conductors that have worked with UNL choirs and conductors reads like a Who's Who in choral music: Dale Warland, René Clausen, Don V Moses, Joshua Rifkin, Jeremy Jackman, Simon Carrington, Sir David Willcocks, William Hatcher, Malcolm Dalglish, Anton Armstrong, Ann Howard Jones, Phil Mattson, the Swingle Singers, Bobby McFerrin, Eph Ely, Doreen Rao, Weston Noble, Edward Polochick, and the late Moses Hogan and Robert Shaw.

Graduate Choral Conducting Recital Expectations for MM and DMA:

  • A cappella pieces should be performed a cappella
  • Strive for performances that are as authentic as can be, given the university environment: choose music accordingly…consider that a significant portion of a passing grade is the art of programming.
  • Conduct at least 50% with a baton.
  • In some instances, securing performance forces will be the responsibility of the student conductor
  • Securing the appropriate accompanist, accompanying instruments, and location is often the responsibility of the student
  • Student conductors will need to go to the office on recital sign-up week to pay (for recording) and get their contract
  • Student conductors will be responsible for recording their own recital if it is not in Westbrook Music Building room 119 or Kimball Recital Hall
  • The recital should not be scheduled at the same time as a recital in room 119 (student recital hall)
  • The recital should not conflict with any recitals at Kimball Recital Hall
  • If they are setting up a recital early they will need to go to the office to pick up an Early Recital Request Form
  • Scholarly program notes need to be submitted to your advisor at least two months prior to the recital
  • Program notes must contain translations plus birth/death year of composer
  • Official program and program notes should be submitted to the appropriate Glenn Korff School of Music secretary two weeks prior to the recital
  • Be certain that your recital posters are posted in the Glenn Korff School of Music halls for at least one week prior to the event
  • Performers need not memorize their music
  • Program notes: Translation need to be your own (often not a singable translation)…you may borrow ideas from other sources but you need to adjust them for accurate and modern usage
  • Conductor need not memorize score

                Print music for the recital:
                  1) can be borrowed from the UNL choral library
                  2) can be borrowed from another choral library
                  3) must be the sole responsibility of the student-conductor
                  4) downloaded from public-domain music sites 

Sample of recent repertoire from MM and DMA choral conducting recitals and choral preparation:•the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes
•Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb •Bruckner's Mass in E-Minor •the Fauré Requiem, Op. 48 (with orchestra) •Herbert Brewer's Magnificat •the Duruflé Requiem (twice) •Kodaly's Missa Brevis •Basler's Missa Kenya (twice) •Bach's Singet dem Herrn •Bach's B Minor Mass •Gregson's Make a Joyful Noise •Carissimi's Jephthe •the Puccini Messa a quattro voci •Beethoven's Mass in C •Mozart's Te Deum •Mendelssohn's Elijah •Mendelssohn's Hear My Prayer •Mendelssohn's 4-choir Hora est •Thompson's complete Frostiana (twice) •Haydn's Missa brevis Johannes de Deo •Haydn's Paukenmesse •Haydn's Harmoniemesse •Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass •Pergolesi's (Durante's) Magnificat •Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors •Stanford's Gloria in excelsis •Mozart's Vesperae solemnes de confessore, K, 339 -Mozart's Missa brevis in G, K. 49
-movements from the Lukas Requiem
-movements from Willan's Missa brevis
-Monteverdi's Beatus vir
-the Vivaldi Gloria, RV 589 (with orchestra)
-Vivialdi's Magnificat (with orchestra)
-Whitacre's Five Hebrew Love Songs
-Walton's Belshazzar's Feast
-the Brahms Alto Rhapsody
-Mozart's Requiem
-Beethoven's Symphony #9
-Liszt's Christus
-Orff's Carmina Burana
-Purcell's O God, Thou Art My God
-Pinkham's Nunc dimittis
-Pinkham's Wedding Cantata
-Pinkham's Christmas Cantata
-Bading's Trois Chanson
-Ravel's Trois Chanson
-Debussy's Trois Chanson
-Finzi's Seven Poems of Robert Bridges
-choruses from Bernstein's The Lark
-JS Bach's Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226
and music by Palestrina, Byrd, Passereau, Willaert, Nestor, Aguiar, Arcadelt, Morley, Adlgasser, Mendelssohn, Barber, Tallis, Zimmermann, Ceccherini, Schubert, Rossi, Josquin, Telemann, and Bruckner arrangements by Moses Hogan, and others. In other words, at any one time, in any ensemble, students and their conductors are experiencing the finest choral music in the world.

Plus opera and choral preparations for:

-the Brahms Requeim
-Mendelssohn's Elijah
-Mendelssohn's Psalm 42, Op. 42
-UNL's opera production of Elixir of Love
-UNL's opera production of Dialogues of the Carmelites
-UNL's opera production of Die Fledermaus
-UNL's opera production of La Bohème
-UNL's opera production of Mozart's Magic Flute
-Bach's Cantata BWV 47
-Duruflé's Requiem (twice)
-Mozart's Requiem
-the Tallis Spem in Alium, motet in 40 parts

Dr. Peter A. Eklund, Director of Choral Activities
108 Westbrook Music Building
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0100