Orchestral Studies

The philharmonia orchestra performs on stage while being conducted by maestro Mark Gibson.

CCM's orchestral program provides an unparalleled educational and performance experience for hundreds of instrumentalists each year.

The breadth of each season’s concert series rivals many of the world’s great performing organizations. As a result, students become versed in a body of repertoire that encompasses more than most conservatories venture to program.

The close bond between the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and CCM’s orchestral program invigorates student conductors and instrumentalists alike, and our commitment to high standards enriches the cultural life of Cincinnati.


Degree Programs

CCM offers graduate degrees in orchestral conducting at the masters (MM) and doctoral (DMA) levels. Under the tutelage of Mark Gibson, director of orchestral studies, student conductors learn the craft in a high-profile program at one of the finest conservatories in the country.

Faculty

Headshot of Mark I. Gibson

Mark I. Gibson

Director of Orchestral Studies; Professor of Music

513-556-9420

Headshot of Aik Khai Pung

Aik Khai Pung

Associate Professor of Music

513-556-9521


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'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
the flair and technique of a professional ensemble

Rafael's Music Notes

Under the direction of Professor Mark Gibson, the CCM Philharmonia is the college's premier orchestral ensemble and is recognized as one of the world's elite conservatory orchestras. The CCM Philharmonia has risen to world prominence through the quality of its performances, recordings, and its national and international tours. The CCM Philharmonia serves as the opera orchestra for the Conservatory's award-winning opera productions. Members of the CCM Philharmonia are regularly divided into chamber orchestras for a variety of specialized and high-profile performances.

The CCM Concert Orchestra shares a wind and brass rotation with the Philharmonia, with a slightly younger string section. Graduate students provide leadership in the strings, helping the orchestra achieve a high level of performance. Concert Orchestra performs a full season of nine events, often taking the stage alongside the Philharmonia, and performs with both the Mainstage Opera series and CCM’s annual “Feast of Carols” celebration.

The UC Symphony Orchestra is a campus orchestra, open to all students regardless of major. Optional small ensembles, various community service events, and social events are offered throughout the year.

Founded in 1946 by Ernest N. Glover, the CCM Brass Choir is comprised of French horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, and percussion and performs original and transcribed music for brass ensemble. Directed by Professor Timothy Northcut, the Brass Choir has been featured at nearly every important educational conference in the United States, and serves as a leading collegiate brass ensemble.


News and Events

1

New CCM apparel available for purchase online

February 14, 2024

Show your school spirit this spring with official CCM apparel! New UC College-Conservatory of Music apparel is available for purchase online. CCM's Spring 2024 t-shirt and hoodie designs can be ordered online now through March 18, 2024.

2

WATCH: CCM Opera Series presents 'The Cunning Little Vixen'

Event: February 29, 2024 8:00 PM

UC College-Conservatory of Music presents Leos Janáček’s beloved anthropomorphic opera "The Cunning Little Vixen" Feb. 29-March 2 in Corbett Auditorium. Sung in the original Czech, the opera follows a clever fox (or “vixen”), and the Forester, a human who captured her as a cub. Weaving between the human and animal world, the opera blends comedy and tragedy, exploring the cyclical nature of life and death.

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