Choral Conducting

Choral conducting audition requirements

Master of Music (M.M.), Doctor of Music (D.M.)

The following information is for entry into the 2024-25 school year.


All choral conducting applicants must submit prescreening via the JSOM Supplemental application by December 1.

Prescreening Requirements

1.  Video recording, including:

  • A rehearsal: approximately 10 minutes, with camera positioned from the choir's perspective. You may submit two different rehearsal segments, but please do not submit a highly cut and edited video. We would like to observe your interactions with the chorus and hear the cumulative results of your rehearsal.

  • A performance: 15 minutes maximum of at least two contrasting works, ideally with the camera positioned from the choir’s perspective. We recognize that many choruses were not performing in 2020–21, please provide the best representation of your work, no earlier than 2019. Please include the date of the performance(s). 

2.  Résumé/Curriculum Vitae, including:

  • Education and additional musical training 
  • Employment (include non-musical positions if they have been significant) 

3.  Repertoire list, including:

  • Works conducted in performance, including date and group 
  • Works assisted, including year and for whom (you conducted sectionals, etc., but not the performance) 
  • Works prepared, including date and conductor (you fully prepared the chorus for another conductor) If you do not have anything in this category, simply leave it out.) 
  • Works studied in conducting class 

4.  Video Statement of Purpose - Describe your entry into the field of choral conducting, significant milestones or motivations, and your aspirations in the field. No longer than 5 minutes. 

4.  Non-native English speakers must also submit their TOEFL or IELTS by December 1. Prescreening will not be reviewed until English Proficiency has been met.

5.  D.M. applicants only: A writing sample (either a course paper or program notes) which demonstrates fluency and aptitude in written English.

Select applicants will be invited to a live audition after a review of all prescreening portfolios.

Audition invitations will be sent before January 1, 2024, based on the prescreen applications. Dates will be assigned by the Admissions Office, please contact them if you need to request a specific day. 

*Choral Conducting Audition Dates:

Fri. February 2, Mon. February 5, and Tue. February 6

All auditions are held on the Bloomington campus. The choral conducting department will not admit students for fall of 2024 based on video or audio recordings.  

Pre-Audition Submissions (by invitation, post prescreening) 

Prospective students who are invited to audition will be asked to submit the following by January 29, 2024 via the JSOM Supplemental application: 

  • Video of applicant singing a short (2-minute) art song or oratorio aria. You may use a recorded accompaniment. 
  • Video of applicant playing the piano reduction of the orchestral introduction (mm. 1–11) of “And the glory of the Lord” from Handel’s Messiah, Novello edition. Choose a tempo you can play accurately, no matter how slow. You may use an electronic keyboard. 

On-Campus Auditions will include: 

1.  A Conducting Technique Demonstration 

In this individual session with the choral faculty, you will be asked to conduct "Let Nimrod, the mighty Hunter" from Benjamin Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb (Rehearsal 2 to Rehearsal 9, sung by the faculty with piano accompaniment). You may be asked to simultaneously sing and conduct a section from within the excerpt. 


MM applicants:Handel: Messiah, No. 5, "Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts" 

DM applicants: Haydn: Die Schöpfung (The Creation) No. 21, "Gleich öffnet sich die Erde Schoss," starting directly on the accompagnato recitative. The soloist will sing in German. 

A soloist and pianist will be provided for the recitatives. 

2.  A Conducting Audition 

Your audition with an SATB chamber chorus (c. 30 voices) will last about 10 minutes. Please choose one of the pieces from the repertoire list below. We would like to see you rehearse, taking a portion of your repertoire selection and bringing it closer to concert readiness, as opposed to you presenting a "conducting performance." 

The chorus will be seated SATB from left to right (from the conductor’s perspective) and sing in the original language.  

Vocal scores will be provided for the chorus in the editions indicated below; please conduct from a full score if you are conducting a choral/orchestral work.​ 

3.  An Interview with the Choral Conducting Faculty 

In the interview we will want to hear about your background and aspirations, and we’ll answer questions you have about our program.  We will also use this time to learn about facets of your musicianship beyond conducting.  You will be asked to sight sing, discuss score excerpts, and perhaps sing parts of your audition repertoire.  We may also ask questions about this repertoire (composer, context, analysis, translation, and why you chose the piece).   

Audition Repertoire 

Please email David Villanueva ( or call the Choral Office (812-855-0427) with your choice of audition repertoire by January 15 so the librarian can assemble the repertoire for the chorus.

Choose one of the following: 

  • Bach - Cantata Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4, Movt. 1 (Carus Verlag) 
  • Brahms - Ein deutsches Requiem, Movt. I (Peters) 
  • Handel - Messiah, "And the glory of the Lord" or "Surely He hath borne our griefs" (Novello) 
  • Hindemith - Six chansons, "Un cygne" (Schott) 
  • Mozart - Requiem, K. 626, Süssmayr completion, “Introit,” “Kyrie,” “Hostias,” or “Quam olim Abrahae” (Bärenreiter) 
  • *Schütz - Die mit Tränen säen (Call Choral Office for PDF) 
  • Verdi - “Va, pensiero” from Nabucco (Ricordi)
  • *Victoria – O vos omnes (Call Choral Office for PDF)

*If you choose the Schütz or Victoria, please contact the Choral Office to receive a PDF of the scores the chorus will be using; publications vary widely in key and modern meters. 

You may conduct from a different edition than those listed above; the chorus’s scores will be made available and you will have time before your audition to mark rehearsal letters and measure numbers in your conducting score if needed. 

Audition Day Schedule & Additional Events 

The Audition Day schedule runs from 8:30 to 4:30, but to get a full picture of our program we suggest you plan on visiting at least a portion of an opera rehearsal, usually scheduled 4:00–6:30.  Also included in your day will be lunch (on us!) with several of our current graduate students. Depending on the day of the week, you will observe faculty-led rehearsals, a Conductors Chorus rehearsal (the paid recital chorus), and/or an IU Opera/Ballet Theater performance. (Complimentary tickets will be provided.) Check Events & Performances to see Jacobs School performances scheduled during your visit.  

Your audition for our graduate program is also your audition for an assistantship. These include tuition remission, health insurance, and a stipend. Please see information under Graduate Scholarships for details. 

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