Master of Music in Conducting (Emphasis Choral Conducting) (MMUS)
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.
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.
Contact the program
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
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 6.5
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.
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.
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.
Significant choral conducting experience is expected of qualified applicants. Often this includes public school teaching (or similar) experience.
2) Meet Deadlines
September 2022 Intake
Application Open Date15 September 2021
September 2023 Intake
Application Open Date10 September 2022
3) Prepare Application
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.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Music in Conducting (Emphasis Choral Conducting) (MMUS)
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.)
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
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,732.53||$6,463.82|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$1,052.34 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,126.20 (check cost calculator)|
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.
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.
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.
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 direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
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.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
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.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
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.
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.