Highlights from the 2023 Choral-Orchestral Conducting Academy

2023 Conducting Academy group photo

If you're studying to be a choral conductor, and aspiring to direct some of the iconic large-scale works with orchestra in the choral repertoire, it can be quite a challenge to find opportunities to gain this particular experience. Even in graduate-level programs, podium time for choral conductors to rehearse while the massive combined choral-orchestral forces are gathered is very scarce indeed. Chorus America's Choral-Orchestral Conducting Academy was created to address this prominent need in the choral field, and provide a unique training experience for choral conductors to develop choral-orchestral skills.

The 2023 Conducting Academy was held July 3-9 at California State University, Fullerton. During the intensive week-long program, 12 Fellows and 15 Scholars studied with a supportive, world-class program faculty in a series of podium sessions, one-on-one conducting lessons, and special forums, culminating with a final performance in Meng Concert Hall.


A Warm and Supportive Environment

A hallmark of the Conducting Academy is the camaraderie between the participants and with faculty members. The group formed strong bonds over the course of their week together, with everyone invested in each other's success.


Learning on the Podium

In a variety of formats, including piano rehearsals, working with the orchestra, a full dress rehearsal, and a final performance, Fellows and Scholars received substantial hands-on coaching from faculty while conducting from the podium.

Beyond the Stage

Fellows and Scholars also extended their education by taking in forums and panel discussions throughout the week, including a talk on Ralph Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem with special guest Mary Lyons, and a session on successful and sustainable career tips with Long Beach Symphony president Kelly Ruggirello.


Watching the Magic Happen

Of course, there's nothing quite like watching the Conducting Academy participants in action during their coaching sessions and rehearsals.