Frequently asked questions about the DMA Degree in Choral Conducting
Is the DMA a degree in Sacred Music?
Strictly speaking, the answer is no. The DMA degree is given in one of two current disciplinary specializations, Organ and Choral Conducting.Clearly, sacred music repertoires are historically prominent and central for these two disciplines, and Notre Dame’s faculty is in a unique position to provide the best possible opportunities for the study of sacred music in all its manifestations. At the same time, the program is organized so that each candidate designs his or her curriculum around areas of professional interest, which can include mainstream secular repertoires in classical music; innovative directions, such as multimedia presentation or music as an agent for social change; historical repertoires including Medieval music; or music in its relationship to Liturgy and Ritual Studies; among others.
As a conductor, how much podium time will I have?
DMA candidates in choral conducting will direct three recitals with our program ensembles, the Master Singers and The Conductor’s Project, which may include instrumentalists as needed. Conductors also assist faculty in rehearsals and performances with large ensembles like the Notre Dame Chorale and the Notre Dame Festival Chorus.Lessons include both private sessions with a dedicated pianist and collective sessions with ensemble twice weekly.Special projects like the Mellon Interdisciplinary Sacred Music Drama Project provide extraordinary occasions to prepare ensembles alongside important guest artists. The doctoral placements with churches in the region give yet another opportunity for professional exercise with community singers.
How much financial support is available?
Notre Dame offers a competitive package of financial aid to our doctoral students.Tuition is fully covered for three years, including summers, and students have a stipend of $18,000 as interns in supervised professional placements as sacred music directors in regional churches and as assistants to the faculty.
Can I discuss the program in person or on the phone with a member of the faculty?
Yes. Please feel free to write to Janet Rudasics at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Carmen-Helena Téllez, Director of the Program in Choral Conducting at email@example.com to set up a phone conversation.