Conducting Institute
Opening remain for the 2021 conducting program
The Conducting Institute at SSMF offers two tracks for program participation:

Conductors Institute Apprentice Program

Eight conducting participants (herein known as Apprentice Conductors) will be accepted to the 2021 Conductors institute, held concurrently with the Sewanee Summer Music Festival.  Audition to this program is based on submitted videos, resume, and recommendation letters. Specific audition information can be found on our audition page, and the application. Apprentice Conductors will meet daily with program director Dr. Gene Moon, and have regular classes and seminars with festival faculty and guest conductors. Seminar topics will range from repertoire introduction, conducting technique, score study technique, rehearsal technique, concert programming, community relations, marketing, publicity, educational outreach and more. Regular podium time with 4-hand piano, piano quintet, small ensemble, and full orchestra is included in the experience of Apprentice Conductors. 

This program is designed for instrumentalists who are thinking about a conducting career, or early-stage conductors in undergraduate or graduate programs. 

Program Coordinator
Dr. Gene Moon
Audition requirements 

Videos must be in the orchestra’s POV and give focus upon the conductor. The video must include at least two contrasting works and not exceed 15 minutes. Videos should show applicants conducting a full orchestra, wind ensemble or chamber ensemble. Applicants may also submit videos with piano, but an ensemble of at least six musicians is preferred.

Participation Fees

$3,950.00 includes all tuition, housing, and meals during the program.

Summer Festival alumni (2018, 2019, 2020) who apply by March 15th will receive a $500 credit to their tuition. This does not apply to winter festival participants

Note: Students accepted into the Conducting Institute as apprentice conductors do not have to pay the Conducting Seminar fee.

Application Fees and Deadlines

Feb 15th, 2021 ( $35.00 app fee)

  • Priority application deadline
  • Scholarship available for all studios
  • Deadline for SSMF Summer 2020 students to let us know if they would like their deposit and scholarship honored from 2020

March 15th, 2021 ($35.00 app fee)

  • Final application deadline
  • Scholarship available for some studios

After March 15th, 2021 ($75.00 app fee)

  • Applications after March 15th will be accepted on a case by case basis with limited scholarship availability. Some studios will be full.

Supplemental Study in Conducting

Conducting Seminar (class) 

Open to any festival participant, regardless of prior conducting experience.  The conducting seminar will focus on the fundamentals of conducting, including baton technique and score study.  Seminar participants will attend Q&A sessions with festival conductors, and listening/study sessions in the Ralston Listening Library. 

Seminar participants will have limited podium time that will focus primarily on fundamental techniques. The Conducting Seminar will meet twice weekly during the 4 weeks of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. There is no audition requirement for the Conducting Seminar. 

Participation Fees

Fees for the Conducting seminar will be announced soon.

For program questions, please contact -Dr. Gene Moon

For all other program questions, please contact the Festival office.