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Workshops & Seminars

Inquiry, investigation, instruction, inspiration: the invariable components of a Conductors Guild Conductor Training Workshop! While a three- or four-day workshop can neither make nor re-make a conductor’s approach, nearly everyone can benefit from the opportunity of focusing intensively on the technical, analytical, and philosophical aspects of conducting within the concentrated framework of a Conductors Guild workshop. Whether attending as an auditor or a participant, conducting students, young professionals, and experienced maestros can all expect to encounter constructive criticism, insightful observation, and even controversial commentary from the workshop faculty, along with excellent musical resources and stimulating repertoire. In short, the Conductors Guild Conductor Training Workshops are a valuable resource for the entire Guild membership.

The Workshop Committee has worked hard in recent years to promote the highest standards of instruction at all Conductors Guild Workshops, and also to make available to the membership a broad range of opinions and approaches by offering a widely varied workshop faculty. The following statement of philosophy has been adopted by the Board of Directors, and is circulated to all potential workshop hosts and faculty members.

Goal: The goal of the Conductors Guild Conductor Training Workshops is to provide the maximum amount of specific and insightful guidance on both technical and musical matters to each workshop participant, within the limited time framework available. The Conductors Guild believes that the atmosphere of all CG Conductor Training Workshops should be constructive, encouraging, and non-competitive. The content of each workshop will incorporate as many parameters as possible (baton technique, interpretation, score study, analysis, rehearsal technique, musician interaction, etc.), at the highest possible level, and thus appropriately serve conductors from all phases of the profession.

Application: Applicants to CG Conductor Training Workshops must fill out an application form for each particular workshop and submit it, along with the application fee, to the Conductors Guild office by the specified deadline. Whenever possible, applicants should also submit a recent video along with their application: in the case of a large number of applicants for a particular workshop, the video will weigh heavily in the selection process. Videos will be returned only if the applicant includes a self-addressed postage-paid mailer. Applicants should list appropriate references, including phone numbers and affiliations, or attach copies of recent letters of recommendation. The Guild does not guarantee that every reference will be consulted for every workshop application, but the review committee will indeed contact the listed references whenever possible and/or necessary.

Deadlines: Whenever possible, the Conductors Guild will announce all workshops four to five months before each event takes place. Application forms will be mailed at least 120 days in advance, and the application deadline will be set at approximately 90 days before a particular workshop. Applicants will be informed of their acceptance status approximately 60 days before each workshop, allowing sufficient time for study of the workshop repertoire. Registration confirmation and fees are due three weeks (21 days) before the workshop. If an applicant who has been accepted decides not to participate in a particular workshop, early notification to the Guild office will greatly be appreciated so that the vacated participant slot may be filled from the waiting list.

Review: All applications to each CG Conductor Training Workshop are reviewed by a committee of two or three experienced individuals, including at least one representative from the Conductors Guild Workshop Committee and one representative from the workshop faculty, whenever possible. Within each season, different members of the CG Workshop Committee review different sets of workshop applications, in order to ensure a healthy variety of opinion in the evaluation process. Applicants should take note that the number of applicants for the different CG workshops varies widely: thus placement on the waiting list or auditor status for one particular workshop does not indicate that the same individual will not be accepted as a full participant in a subsequent workshop.

Podium Time: All Conductors Guild Conductor Training Workshops are designed to offer a substantial amount of podium time to the limited number of participants. Generally five or six conducting sessions are incorporated into each three-day workshop, and each participant can expect to conduct at three different sessions. The Guild makes every effort to ensure equal podium time for each participant.

Video Recording: All podium sessions at Conductors Guild Workshops are videotaped. Two miniDV tapes are produced simultaneously: one for the CG archives and one for the participant.

Auditing: Applicants who are wait-listed or offered auditor status for a particular CG Conductor Training Workshop are strongly encouraged to attend as auditors. Workshop auditors may observe all podium sessions and may participate fully in all discussions, analysis sessions, and supplemental lectures. Auditors may also have some one-to-one contact with the workshop faculty, as the particular schedule permits. First-time applicants are particularly encouraged to attend as auditors in order to gain insight into the workshop experience.

The priorities in arranging CG Conductor Training Workshops are expert instruction, quality musical ensembles, and ample podium time for the participants. The format, time framework, and content of individual CG Conductor Training Workshops may vary from one another, in order to accommodate the particular needs and priorities of the faculty,repertoire, and host institution. A minimum of five podium sessions, as well as repertoire analysis and video review sessions, are incorporated into virtually every workshop. And any one is bound to be stimulating and useful to virtually any CG member!

October 6-8, 2014
Conductor Training Workshop
Richmond Symphony Orchestra
RSO Youth Orchestra, RSO Chorus
Faculty: Victor Yampolsky, Steven Smith, Erin Freeman