To provide intensive professional training for emerging young conductors and singers aspiring to be leaders in professional choral music. Participants will gain crucial skills for leading professional choral ensembles from the podium and within the ensemble with a skilled faculty and professional singers.
"There has been amazing growth in the number and quality of professional choirs in the past few years. One of the challenges for conductors new to this world is to experience what it’s like to work at such a high-level: not only to work quickly and efficiently in little rehearsal time, but to understand and interpret the music at a deeper level, and to hear profoundly into the sound the choir makes. The Baylor workshop is designed to do just that."
—Dr. Richard Sparks, Chair of Conducting & Ensembles, University of North Texas
Through concentrated guidance and substantial podium time, each Conducting Fellow will significantly advance their skills in applied score study, performance practices, rehearsal technique, gesture, and their ability to respond, coach, and guide an elite ensemble of choral singers.
Singing side-by-side with the professional Artists in Residence from the South Dakota Chorale—the Young Artists will gain invaluable perspective into the role and expectations of a professional ensemble singer. In addition to the masterclass choral repertoire, Young Artists will have an opportunity to coach additional solo/ensemble repertoire with the Artists in Residence for an evening recital of duets, trios, and quartets.
The Developing Conductor track is designed to provide a preparatory experience for young conductors with a desire to pursue advanced professional training but not yet ready for the Conducting Fellows track. The Developing Conductors will observe all rehearsals and attend track-specific sessions to discuss rehearsal technique, gesture, ensemble/organizational leadership, and rehearsal observations.
The Baylor Young Artists will consist of eight undergraduate/graduate Baylor University singers (two per voice part) interested in the Young Artist/singer track. The Baylor octet will work side-by-side with the professional Artists-in-Residence and other Young Artists to gain invaluable perspective into the role and expectations of a professional ensemble singer. Auditions for these positions will take place on the Baylor campus during the spring semester.
"Our aim is to create an environment where young conductors and singers can gain experience in a professional-level setting with challenging repertoire. Additionally, the opportunity for young singers and conductors to learn together and build relationships is integral to fostering a rich future for professional ensemble singing. These relationships and the depth of their training will bear fruit for years to come."
—Dr. Brian A. Schmidt, Conductor, Baylor University & South Dakota Chorale
The Masterclass choir consists of approximately 32 singers from the Artists in Residence, Young Artists, and Baylor Young Artists. The purpose of the Masterclass Choir is two-fold: to give the Conducting Fellows a professional-level conducting experience from the podium and to give the Young Artists a professional-level singing experience from within the choir.