D.M.A. Wind Band Conducting

Graduate Admissions

Audition Days

 Friday, January 31, 2025 (morning only)
Saturday, February 1, 2025 (afternoon only)
 *Saturday, February 15, 2025 (all day)
  • Graduate Applications: The deadline for all degree programs and specializations is December 15, 2024.
  • Required Auditions: All required auditions, whether in-person or video, must be completed by 5 p.m. February 15, 2025.
  • Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships: All graduate applicants are automatically considered for graduate assistantships and fellowships. No separate application is required. 
  • Summer MM-Music Education Fellowships: The priority consideration deadline is May 1, 2025.
*Preferred graduate audition day 

Admission Criteria:

  • Begin by applying online at http://go.unl.edu/gradapp.

    1. Create an account.
    2. Complete your application.
    • You will be asked to upload scanned copies of your transcripts showing all postsecondary coursework completed, including all studies for which credit was granted (e.g. summer institutes such as Aspen or Interlochen). Further information can be found at https://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/admissions/requirements#transcripts. We require:       MM GPA = 3.25/4.00 scale.
    • Students whose native language is not English or who have not previously earned a degree from an institution at which English is the official medium of instruction must enter their TOEFL or IELTS score and upload a copy of their score report. Official scores should be sent directly to UNL. Further information can be found at https://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/prospective/international/english. We require: TOEFL iBT 100 or IELTS 7.0 overall band score.
    • You will need to provide contact information, including an email address, for each person from whom you wish a reference. For each recommender, click the Submit Recommendation Request button to send a letter request to your reference writer. A minimum of three letters of recommendation is required; four recommendation letters are recommended.
    • You will need to submit any “Prepared Creative /Scholarly Materials Requirement” marked with an asterisks (*) below as part of the initial application process.
    1. Submit your application and pay the application fee of $50 ($25 if you are currently an active student at UNL). After you’ve clicked “Submit,” validated your information, and paid the application fee, you’ll receive a confirmation email indicating that the application was successfully submitted, and providing you with a link to submit information regarding your audition video and graduate assistant preferences.
    2. Submit required “Prepared Creative /Scholarly Materials Requirements” (see below) marked with a bullet (•) via SlideRoom, a resource manager of The Common Application. A SlideRoom account can be created by going to https://unlarts.slideroom.com/#/login and clicking on “Apply Now.” Once the account has been created, scroll down on this page and select “GKSOM-Priority GA Graduate Application Material Submission (2022).”

    Prepared Creative/Scholarly Materials Requirements:

    * Submit a statement of purpose (500-700 words; Times, 12-point font; Word, rtf or pdf format; double-spaced). Statement should be written by the applicant describing his/her future goals and how the D.M.A. can help attain those goals. (This statement will help the Committee evaluation the fit between the applicant’s goals/interests and the School’s ability to address those goals/interests.)

    * Submit a written exercise (Times, 12-point font; Word, rtf or pdf format; double-spaced). This writing example should be of one of two kinds. It may be an academic term paper of yours, complete with citations and bibliography. Alternatively, you may submit an essay written specifically for this application, for which you select two compositions performed, conducted or originally composed from a recent Master's or Doctoral recital that represent different historical periods or contrasting styles/genres. In this newly written essay you should discuss the characteristics of style and form in each composition, and iscuss each composer's contribution to THIS PARTICULAR GENRE OF MUSIC (i.e., discuss additional compositions, historical and/or theoretical significance of contribution, or compare/contrast your composition to well-known compositions of a similar genre or style).

    Required Pre-Screening Video Footage, with these parameters, to be completed (materials submitted) with your application.

    (1) Approximately 10 minutes of rehearsal footage demonstrating the applicant’s abilities teaching, assessing, coaching, and developing ensemble skills.

    (2) Approximately 10 minutes of performance footage from the ensemble’s perspective (conductor’s face is visible) demonstrating the applicant’s abilities as a creative colleague and performer.

    (3) There is no restriction as to the profile of the ensemble (elementary, middle school, high school, college, professional/military, community). The applicant should select the footage that illustrates their best work in partnership with the ensemble. We realize that the pandemic may pose significant challenges with regard to ensemble rehearsal and performance. All applicants are encouraged strongly to follow best practices with regard to aerosol mitigation and personal protection procedures during audition preparation. When possible, consideration should be given to the quality of the repertoire and suitability for the ensemble’s skills and for graduate conducting study.

    NOTE: Applicants will be notified by the end of December if they have passed the pre-screening round. At that point, they should:

    • Arrange travel and accommodations to participate in the scheduled audition on the Lincoln campus. All expenses associated with the audition are the responsibility of the applicant.

    • For the Audition: Applicants should prepare David Maslanka’s Give Us This Day and John Mackey’s This Cruel Moon. Each applicant is responsible for securing their own full scores and will perform a 20-minute audition with the UNL Wind Ensemble. The audition will focus on Mackey and the second movement of Maslanka and will include opportunities for uninterrupted performance, rehearsal at the applicant’s discretion, and coaching in a quasi-lesson format by the Director of Bands.

    •Prior to the audition, a brief diagnostic exam will be administered. The diagnostic is designed to assess the applicant's aural skills, score reading and recognition, analytical skills, knowledge of terminology and transpositions, familiarity with wind band literature, and creative capacity. The skills components of the exam will use Give Us This Day as a point of departure, and applicants may refer to their scores during the assessment. Each applicant will have an interview with the Director of Bands and members of the band faculty to discuss the applicant's professional goals, philosophy, experience, and expectations.

     •Questions should be directed to Dr. Carolyn Barber, Director of Bands cbarber2@unl.edu

    NOTE: Each writing example must include this honor code statement at the beginning of the essay:"On my honor, I have not received any unauthorized aid on this essay."   Applicants' essays will also be subjected to random plagiarism software checks. Any violations of the honor code statement or evidence of plagiarism will result in the candidate's application portfolio being withdrawn from further consideration.

    Semester by Semester Plan

D.M.A. Degree - Conducting

Note 1: This plan assumes that the student has completed 36 hours of transfer credit that is applicable toward the degree.
Note 2: Any semester which exceeds 9 hours of coursework could be reduced if hours were taken in a summer session.
Note 3: Not shown = any hours of large ensemble as a performer.

Fall 1 Spring 1
MUAP 9--. Applied Conducting(2) 
MUSC 881. Bibliography (1) 
MUSC 8--. Music Theory/History (3) 
MUSC 845. Ensemble (1)
MUSC9--. Literature (3) 
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)
MUAP 9--. Applied Conducting (2)
MUSR 998. Recital (3)
MUSC9--. Literature (3)
MUEN 845. Ensemble (1)
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)
Fall 2 Spring 2
MUAP 9--. Applied Conducting (2)
MUSC 9--. Theory or History Sem (3)
MUSC 845. Ensemble (1)
MUSC977. Performance Practice (3)
MUSC9--. Literature (3)
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)
MUAP 9--. Applied Conducting (2)
MUSR 98. Recital (0)
MUED 992. College Teaching in Music (3)
MUSC9--. Literature (3)
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)
MUSC 845. Ensemble (1)
Fall 3 Spring 3
MUAP 9--. Applied Conducting (2)
MUEN 845. Ensemble (1) 
Elective (3) 
MUSC 8/9 Music History (3) 
Comprehensive Exams & 
Document Proposal completed by Nov. 1
MUAP 9--. Applied Conducting(2)
MUSR 998. Recital (3)
MUSC999. Doctoral Document (3)
MUSC 845. Ensemble (1)