“I am going there to change my life."
This is what I said last week of my impending trip to Westminster Choir College and the week-long summer Conducting Institute. I said it with some measure of irony. It's a big statement, and what if I were to come back with my life not changed?
But I hoped.
I hoped, and here I am, at the end of the week, singing better, feeling free, exhaling as well as inhaling when I conduct. I've said hello to my past and reacquainted myself with the music inside me. I've heard other people's stories, told my own, and marveled at what music and truth and trust can do.
So that tomorrow I can go home and change my life."
- Conducting Institute 2012 attendee
New Faculty for the 2013 Conducting Institute
Yale University professor emeritus, Simon Carrington has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in music, performing as singer, double bass player and conductor, first in the UK where he was born, and latterly in the USA. From 2003 to 2009 he was professor of choral conducting at Yale University and director of the Yale Schola Cantorum, a 24-voice chamber choir which he brought to national and now international prominence, attracting the interest of his successor, Masaaki Suzuki, director of the Bach Collegium Japan.
The music of Frank Ferko has been heard in live performances and radio broadcasts around the world. Hailed by critics as a master of text setting and composing for a cappella vocal ensembles, Mr. Ferko is one of the most sought after composers of new choral music today, and his works have been performed by some of the most highly regarded choral ensembles and vocal soloists of our time.
We are thrilled to announce the appointment of two internationally acclaimed conductors, Gary Graden and Vance George to the faculty. Mr. Graden who conducts the St. Jakob’s choir in Stockholm, Sweden is internationally recognized as a gifted teacher and conductor. Vance George, Emeritus Conductor of the renowned San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and Grammy Award winner, is one of America’s great conductors and teachers. Their addition to Westminster Conducting Institute adds tremendous additional depth and expertise to this world-renowned faculty.
Date: June 30 - July 6, 2013
Faculty: James Jordan, Director; Marilyn Shenenberger, Coordinator and Principal Accompianist; Distinquished choral faculty: Charles Bruffy, Bruce Chamberlain, Vance George, Gary Graden, Sabine Hortsmann, Simon Carrington, Weston Noble, and Frank Ferko
Fees: $745 non-credit/$1495 with 3 graduate credits
Literature for 2013
All the literature will be available prior to this year's Institute. A partial list of works is listed below. Each year, a major work from the choral literature is selected for group study and analysis. This year we will study the Brahms Schicksalied.
- Mealor: Locus Iste; Wherever You Are
- Vierne: Kyrie
- Rhineberger: Kyrie
- Te Deum in C –Britten
- O How Amiable-Ralph Vaughan Williams
- Victoria: Kyrie from Requiem of 1650
- Tavener: Funeral Ikos
- Motets by Lassus and Victoria
A leading summer choral conducting program in the United States, now in its 11th year, the popular Westminster Conducting Institute is housed on the campus of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. With one of the most distinguished conducting faculties in the nation, this renowned Institute offers conductors of all levels a chance to study with and observe these major conductors in addition to master classes on specific special topics.
The Institute is open to all levels of conductors. Techniques taught in the Institute are applicable to all ages and performance level choirs.
The Institute introduces conductors to new choral literature through intense study and lectures by composers.
- Each day begins with a group vocal technique warm-up and lecture by Sabine Horstman. Professor Horstman was a student of the legendary Frauke Haasemann. Students attending the Institute gain valuable pedagogical insights and materials for use with their choirs in these sessions
- Daily conducting classes in small groups with the Institute faculty
- Daily movement Laban-based sessions relating to choral literature being studied
- Classes dealing with teaching Early music to all levels of choral ensembles
- Evening lectures on score analysis, other topics by the Institute faculty
- Lectures on Choral Improvisation and Intonation by Gary Graden
- Lecture on Diction by Vance George
Please note: This course includes evening hours! A complete schedule will be sent to participants. Participants should organize their travel plans accordingly.
- Daily class schedule (Monday - Friday) is 8:30am - 8:30pm
- Sunday class is 3:30pm - 9pm
- Saturday class is 8:30am - 1pm
This Institute this year will focus upon the understanding of harmonic rhythm as a basis for making gestural conducting decisions. Classes that focus upon developing these skills will be held throughout the week.
In addition to the above, each participant is assigned (based upon experience) to a daily conducting class with the Insittute faculty. Students are asked to conduct a portion of work on the first evening of the Institute in order to be placed in the appropriate section. Instructions concerning the conducting hearing are sent after students have registered. Students also conduct in master class situations where they are critiqued by choral faculty other than their class teacher. Participants can take the Institute for credit or noncredit. Credit participants must conduct in the Institute Master classes and complete a written project during the Institute.
Texts & Music
Music will be available from Westminster Music and Books by June 1, 2013. Contact the bookstore at 609-921-1656 to order.
Recommended texts Scores for the major works to be covered can be obtained in advance of the workshop for study from Westminster Music and Books.
- Jordan, James . Etudes for Conductors. Chicago: GIA. (This publication is currently in development and will be available for purchase soon)
- Jordan, James with Andrews, Meade and Wyers, Giselle. The Conductor’s Gesture. Chicago: GIA, 2012
Recommended supplemental resources
- Carrington, Simon. The Empowered Rehearsal: DVD and Workbook. Chicago: GIA, 2010
- Jordan, James. Evoking Sound (Second Edition). Chicago: GIA
- Noble, Weston. Dialogues: The Inner Life of the Musician. Chicago: GIA
- Noble, Weston. Creating a Special World. Chicago: GIA
Westminster Office of Continuing Education