Wind Studies

The CCM Wind Ensembles rehearses in Corbett Auditorium with Maestro Kevin Holzman

CCM's Department of Wind Studies offers five ensembles for credit, including the CCM Wind Symphony, CCM Wind Ensemble, CCM Chamber Winds, CCM Musica Nova and CCM Brass Choir.

Each ensemble meets two to three times per week and each performs six full programs annually. Each graduate conducting student conducts all five of these ensembles each year, supervised by Director of Wind Studies Kevin Michael Holzman.

Degree Programs

CCM offers both the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting. The following courses are core to both programs:

  • Survey of Wind Literature: Year-long course covering the wind repertoire from the Medieval period through today. Assessment is based on score identification, listening identification, and essay topics.
  • Seminar in Wind Conducting: Weekly meeting of graduate students to address repertoire, rehearsal techniques and other skills required for conductors. Conducting majors participate in this course twice weekly during each semester in residence.
  • Applied Study in Wind Conducting: Weekly private conducting lessons with Professor Holzman to view recordings of rehearsals, discuss score study, and improve technique.


Headshot of Kevin Michael Holzman

Kevin Michael Holzman

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


Ensembles and Conducting Division Staff

Headshot of Rose Anna Hensley

Rose Anna Hensley

Program Manager


CCM's admissions process begins on August 1 (undergraduate) and September 1 (graduate) 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


Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via 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.


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
a vibrant performance

Janelle's Notes

Committed to performing diverse and exciting programs, the CCM Wind Symphony is comprised of highly advanced performers of wind and percussion instruments. The ensemble is internationally recognized as one of the finest groups of its kind. Each semester the players are auditioned and assigned parts on a rotating basis. Following a philosophy of one player per part and adopting flexible instrumentation according to the composer’s intentions, the ensemble performs chamber music, selected transcriptions, concerti and original full ensemble repertoire spanning five centuries. The CCM Wind Symphony performs six concerts on campus per season and also participates in recording sessions for album release under the Klavier Records label.

Acknowledged as "wonderful and exciting" with performances described as "powerful, moving and thrilling," the CCM Wind Ensemble draws its membership from the finest undergraduate and graduate musicians. Acclaimed for the quality of its performances as well as the diversity and originality of its programming, the CCM Wind Ensemble is dedicated to bringing the finest traditional and contemporary literature to their audiences. This organization has appeared numerous times before the Ohio Music Educators Association, the Kentucky Music Educators Association, the American Society of University Composers, and has been heard nationally through broadcasts on National Public Radio.

The CCM Chamber Winds is comprised of two double wind quintets and focuses on standard wind chamber music repertoire, including works by such composers as Mozart, Krommer, Beethoven, and Strauss, as well as more contemporary repertoire. The CCM Chamber Winds ensemble performs at CCM and throughout the Greater Cincinnati community.

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.

CCM’s newest ensemble, CCM Musica Nova was founded in 2022. Consisting of a solo compliment of strings, winds, keyboards and percussion, it is dedicated to the music of living composers. The ensemble performs five programs per year of exciting and innovative new music composed by some of the world’s most renowned and creative artists.

All graduate students in wind conducting that are in full-time residence receive a University Graduate Scholarship for full tuition. Wind Conducting majors also receive a 90% assistantship for 18 hours of work per week. Duties for the assistantship are divided among the studio and include:

  • Teaching assistant for undergraduate instrumental conducting classes
  • Instructor of first-year Introduction to Conducting class
  • Teaching assistant for Survey of Wind Literature
  • Public relations
  • Scheduling
  • Program information
  • Rehearsal and performance set-up and strike
  • Production assistant for recording sessions

Wind Conducting majors are assigned repertoire to rehearse and perform with five ensembles on a rotating basis, normally working with all ensembles each year.

News and Events


US Coast Guard Band's 'Heartland Harmonies' tour presents...

May 20, 2024

The United States Coast Guard Band brings its "Heartland Harmonies" concert tour to UC's College-Conservatory of Music on Tuesday, June 25, 2024. The free concert is presented in Corbett Auditorium as part of the band's tour through the American South and Midwest regions for public performances and educational outreach.


CCM Winds presents annual PRISM concert

March 20, 2024

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Wind Studies is ecstatic to announce the return of its annual PRISM concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, 2024, in Corbett Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now through the CCM Box Office.

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