Choral Studies

Choral students perform Bach's St. Matthew Passion at Christ Church Cathedral

CCM Choral Studies seeks to create a new kind of choral conductor who is capable of standing in any environment to inspire new generations of musicians and audience members.

Our training builds leaders and entrepreneurs who will envision a new wave of performance and pedagogy that values transformative musical experiences.

As one of the most established conducting training programs in the world, we have witnessed an enormous change in the choral community and are evolving to embrace a new vision. CCM Choral Studies is focused on two areas: University Ensembles and CCM Choral Conducting training.

CCM has delighted multiple generations of music lovers with the concerts presented by its choral ensembles: the Chamber ChoirChoraleChamber Singers and UC Choruses. Performances range from acclaimed staged productions presented in collaboration with CCM’s Opera/Voice Department and guest artists to presentations of contemporary works. CCM also regularly collaborates with ensemble-in-residence, the Cincinnati Youth Choir.

Love To Sing? Join the UC|CCM Choirs!

The choirs at UC and CCM are open to all UC students! No experience is necessary, and no auditions are required for certain choirs. Choirs can be taken for either one or zero credits to accommodate students with full schedules. Learn more about performance opportunities for UC students

Students can join a choir by registering online through Catalyst. Use the Class Search tool in Catalyst to find “ENSM” subject courses, then choose from UC Choruses, UC Cabaret Singers, CCM Chamber Choir, CCM Chorale or CCM Chamber Singers.

Degree Programs

The Master of Music and Doctor of Music Arts programs provide professional level experiences in rehearsals and performances, developing musicianship and technique, and acquiring knowledge of styles, performance practices and repertoire.

MM and DMA graduates of CCM's Choral Studies Programs are conducting and administrating highly successful professional, collegiate, symphonic, secondary, children's and church choirs programs throughout the world.

Online applications are due December 1 for admission in fall of the following year. By mid-December of each year, qualified applicants will be invited to audition in-person. These auditions occur in January or February each year.

Faculty

Headshot of Joe Miller

Joe Miller

Chair and Professor of Choral Studies

513-556-2696

Headshot of L. Brett Scott

L. Brett Scott

Professor of Ensembles and Conducting

513-556-9421


Ensembles and Conducting Division Head and Staff

Headshot of Kevin Michael Holzman

Kevin Michael Holzman

Division Head of Ensembles and Conducting; Director and Associate Professor of Wind Studies

513-556-9424

Headshot of Rose Anna Hensley

Rose Anna Hensley

Program Manager

513-556-2696

CCM is proud to offer transformative music experiences for our singers and audiences. Dedicated to creating opportunities for all members of our community, we offer engaging opportunities and a wide range of ensembles open to all UC student musicians of all experience levels.  

CCM Chamber Choir

Joe Miller, music director and conductor

Providing professional-level training for aspiring musicians, this mixed-voice chamber ensemble sets a standard of excellence through diverse programming and inspiring artistry. Open to all UC students, the Chamber Choir is a leading voice for choral artistry. Audition is required.

The CCM Chamber Choir has been acclaimed for its staged productions in collaboration with CCM’s Opera Department of Bach’s St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion, and its Monteverdi Project (Nov. 2012), which hosted international and national Early Music guest artists with CCM students in selections from Book 8 Madrigals of Love and War and Selva Morale e Spirituale that was produced for Public Television by WCET Arts Connect.

The Chamber Choir has received accolades for presentations from the canon of contemporary works to include David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion, Tan Dun’s Water Passion after St. Matthew, Schnittke’s Concerto for Choir and the collegiate premiere of Bastian Clevé’s film, The Sound of Eternity, with Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

The Chamber Choir has performed before national and regional conventions of ACDA, participated in Chorus America’s Masterclass for Choral and Orchestral Conductors at CCM, presented a lecture–demonstration for the NCCO national conference at CCM, and was featured in a program of si placet works of Josquin and his contemporaries for a national convention of the American Musicological Society.


CCM Chorale

Brett Scott, music director and conductor

This large mixed-voice ensemble offers distinctive performance opportunities to students from across the UC. Diverse programming and an emphasis on choral/orchestral masterworks offer singers the opportunity to experience some of the greatest works from the choral music repertoire.

The CCM Chorale maintains an active performance schedule both within and without the walls of the University of Cincinnati. It regularly combines with other CCM ensembles to execute large choral/orchestral and operatic works, and also performs more intimate compositions with the school’s top chamber ensembles. The ensemble has a strong presence in the Cincinnati community, annually performing stand-alone or combined concerts in the top venues and concert series of the greater Cincinnati area. Chorale has sung at multiple American Choral Directors Association and Midwest Composers Symposium conferences, and has been guest artists with several Cincinnati musical organizations, including the May Festival Chorus.

Chorale has presented the regional premiere of Ivan Moody's Passion and Resurrection, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem in collaboration with Concert Orchestra, as well as programs of contemporary Portuguese and Cuban choral music. Chorale has also performed the North American premiere of Fredrik Sixten's St. John Passion, the American premiere of a staged production of Andrew Staniland's Dark Star Requiem, and an All-Brahms program with the CCM Concert Orchestra featuring the Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53; Nänie (A Funeral Song), Op. 82; and Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), Op. 54. The ensemble has also completed recording projects of the Sixten St. John, and a disc of sacred music for choir and electronics. Additional repertoire has included Jonathan Dove's The Passing of the Year, an All-French and All-Schubert program, and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria.


CCM Chamber Singers

Dedicated to leadership preparation for choral conductors, this mixed-voice ensemble is conducted exclusively by MM and DMA Choral Conducting majors under the mentorship of the Choral Studies faculty. Singers and aspiring conductors gain professional conducting training and choral pedagogy through rehearsals and performance. No audition required but consultation with the instructor is advised.

MM and DMA choral majors gain professional conducting training through rehearsals and performances of the Chamber Singers, performing a varied repertoire of a cappella, accompanied and chamber works from all style periods. Chamber Singers rehearsals are followed by master classes for MM and DMA choral majors with choral and guest artist faculty.


UC Choruses

The UC Choruses and Cabaret Singers are comprised of students from the UC’s 14 colleges of over 43,000 students. UC Choruses is one of the oldest organizations on campus, led by graduate choral conducting students and operated by a student-elected board. The UC Choruses perform a diverse repertoire of a cappella, accompanied, folk, spirituals and world music. It presents concerts on and off-campus, appear on CCM’s Feast of Carols and make an annual spring tour. No audition is required.

UC Cabaret Singers is an auditioned mixed-voice choral ensemble made up of members from the UC Chorus. Students must be enrolled in UC Chorus in order to participate.


Cincinnati Youth Choir

Ensemble-in-Residence at CCM

The Cincinnati Youth Choir is an educationally based choral ensemble program. Participants learn healthy vocal technique, sight-reading, music history and music theory while experiencing performance excellence using the philosophies and techniques of Carl Orff, Zoltan Kodaly, Jacques Dalcroze and Jerome Brunner.

The learning environment is creative, explorative and fun. The children form lasting relationships with children outside of their community and develop a lifelong appreciation of music.

CYC members have toured Italy, Japan, China, Scandinavia, England, Ireland, Wales, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Canada and the United States.

Founded in 1993, as the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, the organization updated it’s name to the Cincinnati Youth Choir in 2018 to better represent the age range of it's member base.

CYC has recently received wide acclaim by winning the following awards:

  • 2018 Chorus America Education and Community Engagement Award
  • 2016 Chorus America ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming
  • 2015 American Prize in Choral
Performance for Youth Choirs
  • CityBeat’s Best of 2015 & 2017 Reader Picks for Best Local Vocal Arts Group
  • Gold Medal Choir, Youth Choirs of Equal Voices, World Choir Games 2012
  • Winner of the 2008 Scripps-Corbett Award, Artist Category

For more information, please visit cincinnatichoir.org or call 513-556-0338


As one of the oldest and most prestigious choral conducting programs in the world, we are committed to offering professional training for talented and diverse students. Our alumni are working in a wide range of settings, promoting the values of choral music and demonstrating the quality of training they receive at CCM.
 
We prepare our students to be in service of their communities and to inspire a human connection through singing. It is our goal to prepare our students to work in the global community and to aspire to the highest levels of artistry. Student experience includes:
 
  • Generous podium experiences, with opportunities each semester to conduct a series of rehearsals and performance with the CCM Chamber Singers, which has three 90-minute rehearsals weekly and is conducted exclusively by MM and DMA choral conducting majors, under the mentorship of choral faculty.
  • Intensive studies in instrumental conducting and score preparation, in addition to choral conducting classes and seminars each semester in residence.
  • Conducting positions for DMA choral majors as Director of the UC Choruses, which present on and off-campus concerts, tour, and perform masterworks with orchestra. 
  • Conducting positions for DMA and MM choral majors as Assistant Director of the CCM Chamber Choir, Assistant Director of the CCM Chorale, Director of the UC Cabaret Singers, Director of Choruses for CCM Opera productions, Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Opera Project, and as Directors and Assistant Directors of multiple choirs for the Cincinnati Youth Choir, Ensemble-in-Residence at CCM, which serves over 1,000 children and youth in seven resident choirs, 10 satellite choirs and three festival choirs, and also partners with the May Festival Chorus, Cincinnati's Vocal Arts Ensemble and an El Sistema based choral program in the Cincinnati Public Schools.
  • Annual $10,000 conducting position for a first-year DMA choral major with the May Festival Chorus through the May Festival Conducting Fellowship.
  • Master classes, residencies, and workshops with guest master conductors and internationally acclaimed choirs. Past master conductors at CCM have included Charlene Archibeque, Harry Christophers, Stephen Cleobury, Fiora Contino (deceased), Stephen Darlington (deceased), Vance George, George Guest (deceased), Tom Hall, William Hatcher, Thomas Hilbish (deceased), Joseph Jennings, Craig Hella Johnson, Donald Nally, Peter Phillips, Johannes Prinz, Patrick Dupré Quigley, Leonard Ratzlaff, Richard Sparks, Martin Steidler, Dale Warland, Jon Washburn, William Weinert, Richard Westerberg (deceased) and Sir David Willcocks (deceased). Master classes have included internationally known ensembles, with MM and DMA choral majors conducting the Dale Warland Singers under the mentorship of Dale Warland, The Sixteen under the mentorship of Harry Christophers, and the Tallis Scholars under the mentorship of Peter Phillips.
  • In-depth studies over four semesters of the Survey of Choral Literature from Early Renaissance through Contemporary.
  • Musicology and Theory courses and special topics seminars with world-renowned specialists.
  • Voice Diction in French, German and Italian, along with Voice Pedagogy with members of CCM’s Voice faculty.
  • Voice Lessons each semester in residence.
  • DMA Cognates offered in Historically-Informed Performance, Sacred Music, Orchestral Conducting, Music Education, Musicology, Theory, Applied Music, Collaborative Piano and Arts Administration.
  • Access to America's greatest resource of choral scores through the CCM Choral library, with multiple scores of over 3,500 works; the Dale Warland Singers Performance Score Library, with multiple scores of over 1,100 works, (270 being commissioned works); and the University of Cincinnati Libraries, which offer borrowing privileges from all Ohio academic libraries via Ohio-Link.

CCM's graduate admissions process begins on September 1 for entrance in the following year's fall semester. All application materials must be submitted on or before December 1 to be considered for specific scholarship awards. Visit the CCM Admissions website for additional application instructions.

Conducting (Choral, Orchestral, Wind) - MM, DM

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 3 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

Note: Your video should be from the ensemble perspective, not from behind the conductor.

  • Choral 
    • Conducting/Teaching: Submit a 20–30-minute video that demonstrates your conducting and rehearsal. Include at least one complete piece. Note: The camera angle should be focused from the ensemble perspective, so your face and gestures are visible.
    • Keyboard: Demonstrate your musicianship by submitting an example of a solo piece where you feel most comfortable and musical.
    • Vocal: Submit a video of your solo vocal abilities. This can be any song, aria, lieder, etc. of your choosing. Consider demonstrating your musical ability, use of language, and intonation skills.
    • 2 letters of recommendation 
    • DMA applicants must submit an essay.
  • Orchestral Video recording (no more than 15 minutes) of at least two contrasting works in performance/rehearsal; either excerpts thereof or in their entirety (may include one rehearsal video)
  • Wind
    • Two video recordings of rehearsals (15 min each, maximum)
    • Two video recordings of performances (15 min each, maximum)
    • 2 letters of recommendation 
    • DMA applicants must submit an essay.

Audition

Choral Conducting

Applicants who pass the pre-screening will be invited to campus for an interview, conducting audition, and skills exam. Details of the audition will be sent to the appropriate applicants in early January.

Orchestral Conducting

Applicants who pass the pre-screening will be invited to campus for an interview, conducting audition, and skills exam. Details of the audition will be sent to the appropriate applicants in early January.

Wind Conducting

The in-person audition will consist of:

  • Conducting two works (one large ensemble, one chamber) which will be determined at the time of invitation
  • A 30-minute aural skills diagnostic exam
  • Complete a diagnostic wind literature exam
  • Interview with the faculty
  • One-hour lesson with Professor Holzman
  • Eight Choral Graduate Assistantships (GA) offering competitive stipends and full tuition waivers, with additional CCM GAs available in other CCM Departments.
  • Scholarships for MM and DMA choral majors from the Elmer and Mary Thomas Scholarship Fund for Choral Conducting and the David R. Davidson Conducting Scholarship.
  • $10,000 annual stipend for a first-year DMA choral conducting major who receives the May Festival Conducting Fellowship with the May Festival Chorus.
  • Opportunities as professional (paid) singers with Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble (professional chamber choir) and the May Festival Chorus (symphonic chorus).
  • Opportunities for generous financial support for performance, research, and travel and registration fees for conducting competitions, master classes, workshops and conferences through the Dean of CCM’s Travel Funds.

CCM is the official home of the Dale Warland Singers Archive, which contains one of the largest collections of contemporary choral works in the country.


News and Events

1

CBC: Feast of Carols is a "best bet" for Cincinnati holiday...

Event: December 3, 2022 12:00 AM

Bring your family to enjoy the annual Feast of Carols concert at UC's College-Conservatory of Music. Named in the Cincinnati Business Courier's top "10 best bets for Cincinnati's performing arts this season," the concert is presented at 2 and 5 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4 in CCM's Corbett Auditorium.

2

CCM shares spring 2023 schedule of major performances and events

November 22, 2022

Audiences are invited to return to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s (CCM) concert halls and theaters to experience world-class performances and presentations by the next generation of performing and media artists! The college’s spring 2023 schedule of free and ticketed events is now available. Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning on Monday, Nov. 28, through the CCM Box Office.

3

CCM Chamber Choir welcomes Cincinnati Ballet guest artists in...

Event: October 29, 2022 7:00 PM

The UC College-Conservatory of Music Chamber Choir presents “Life and Death: Bach Dances” at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022 at Cincinnati’s Christ Church Cathedral. Led by Professor and Director of Choral Studies Joe Miller, this collaborative concert features choreography by Cincinnati Ballet guest artist Taylor Carrasco and professional dancers from the company, featured solos by faculty guest artist Elliot Madore, and lighting design by CCM Theatre Design and Production Co-Chair Sharon Huizinga

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