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Overview

The UBC School of Music offers excellent training for graduate assistant conductors with ample podium time in front of outstanding ensembles. Degrees are offered with emphases in Choral, Orchestral, or Wind conducting.

The conducting program features private conducting study and significant podium time. Teaching Assistantships in conducting and ensembles provide vital experiential learning opportunities throughout the degree. Collaboration among conducting faculty and students in all emphases makes it a cooperative and collegial learning environment.

Entrance to the M.Mus. in conducting is based upon the admission portfolio (including a pre-screen video) as well as an in-person audition for invited candidates. Artist teachers seeking to advance their conducting studies are also encouraged to apply.

What makes the program unique?

The M.Mus. with emphasis in choral conducting is a selective program designed to give the aspiring professional and/or academic choral conductor exceptional training and experience at the graduate level. The program features four core components: extensive podium time with the UBC choral ensembles, an intensive two-year seminar in choral history and literature, high-level performance opportunities of both a cappella choral works and choral/orchestral masterworks, and individual instruction and guidance from the director of choral activities.

The cohort of graduate choral conductors totals approximately 4-6 students, with 2-3 new students accepted each year. This is to ensure ample podium time, and quality of individual instruction.

Program Structure

The program features four core components: extensive podium time with the UBC choral ensembles, an intensive two-year seminar in choral history and literature, high-level performance opportunities of both a cappella choral works and choral/orchestral masterworks, and individual instruction and guidance from the director of choral activities. Students get extensive experience as teaching assistants and conductors of the five active choirs at the School of Music.

 

Program Enquiries

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Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 90

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 6.5

Reading

6.0

Writing

6.0

Speaking

6.0

Listening

6.0

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Prior Degree Requirements

Most successful applicants to the choral conducting program will hold a Bachelor of Music degree. Applicants with significant professional musical experience but with a Bachelor's degree other than a BMUS will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Course Requirements

i. BMus degree or equivalent

ii. Vocal and/or instrumental training sufficient for ensemble leadership in area of emphasis

iii. Piano proficiency

iv. Strong foundation in music history and theory Note: Otherwise strong applicants with deficiencies in these areas may be required to take additional courses.

Document Requirements

A pre-screen video submission is required. The pre-screen video contains examples of the applicant’s performance and rehearsal as a conductor. For applicants who are then invited for a live audition, additional materials will be requested.

Other Requirements

Significant choral conducting experience is expected of qualified applicants. Often this includes public school teaching (or similar) experience.

2) Meet Deadlines

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Master of Music in Conducting (Emphasis Choral Conducting) (MMUS)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. However, it is not necessary for applicants to contact faculty members prior to their application.

The supervisor for the M.Mus. with emphasis in choral conducting is Dr. Graeme Langager. Dr. Langager is UBC’s director of choral activities. Dr. Langager can be reached via email: graeme.langager@ubc.ca

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Research Information

Research Highlights

Highlights of research activities are centered firstly on podium time and conducting. Typically, graduate conducting students are on the podium each day of the week leading ensemble rehearsals and developing gestural technique. The UBC Chamber Choir serves as the laboratory ensemble for the graduate choral conducting students. This ensemble gives three full concerts per years, and is typically used as the ensemble for the graduate thesis recital. Additionally, academic research is in the areas of choral history and literature, and directed study in the preparation of conducting recitals and concerts.

Research Focus

The research activities in the graduate choral conducting program include the following foci: the relationship between gesture and sound, advanced rehearsal techniques, choral management, diagnosis of the choral score as it pertains to musical interpretation, and the study of both traditional and non-traditional choral repertoire (including works that are in the choral canon, contemporary choral music, non-western choral music, and works by composers that represent diverse communities.)

Research Facilities

There are five performing spaces at the University of British Columbia. UBC’s choral ensembles rehearse in the Boy Barnett Recital Hall and other spaces in the School of Music. Performances are held in the Recital Hall, and in the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, which is a world-class, 1200-seat concert hall. Live-streaming and 5-camera filming of concerts and rehearsals makes it possible for conducting students to prepare high-quality audition videos.

The UBC choirs perform regularly with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Collaborations with the VSO take place in the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver’s theatre district. The Orpheum is a historic venue seats 2700 people, and features antique décor, sweeping staircases, and a domed auditorium complete with ceiling mural and giant crystal chandelier.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

Students admitted to the School of Music’s graduate programs are automatically considered for scholarships under the GSI (Graduate Support Initiative) program. These competitive awards typically range from $1,000 to 12,000 and are guaranteed for two to four years.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Options

The M.Mus. in choral conducting prepares the student for a range of career options and opportunities. Typically, graduates of the program continue on to do one of the following: a) return to an existing conducting/teaching position, with new and enriched skills; b) take on a new, more engaging and prestigious conducting/teaching position; or c) enter a doctoral program in conducting at a major North American university.

For students choosing to continue their studies, the choral conducting curriculum at UBC is specifically designed so that students by pursuing a doctoral degree can do so seamlessly. Doctoral degrees in choral conducting often lead to teaching positions with post-secondary institutions.

Alternatively, professional opportunities exist as conductors of – or choristers in – advanced or professional chamber choirs and youth choirs (etc.). 3.5 million Canadians sing in choirs, and there are more than 28,000 choirs in over 300 communities across Canada.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Master of Music in Conducting (Emphasis Choral Conducting) (MMUS). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

ENROLMENT DATA

 20232022202120202019
Applications29635
Offers23303
New Registrations23203
Total Enrolment56735

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 89% based on 9 students admitted between 2015 - 2018. Based on 8 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 1.02 years and the maximum time is 2.73 years with an average of 1.79 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs.

Research Supervisors

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Master of Music in Conducting (Emphasis Choral Conducting) (MMUS)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. However, it is not necessary for applicants to contact faculty members prior to their application.

The supervisor for the M.Mus. with emphasis in choral conducting is Dr. Graeme Langager. Dr. Langager is UBC’s director of choral activities. Dr. Langager can be reached via email: graeme.langager@ubc.ca

 
 

Further Information

Specialization

Choral Conducting features four core components: extensive podium time with the UBC choral ensembles, an intensive two-year seminar in choral history and literature, high-level performance opportunities of both a cappella choral works and choral/orchestral masterworks, and individual instruction and guidance from the director of choral activities.

Faculty Overview

Academic Unit

Program Identifier

VGMMMU-EB1
 
 
 
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