The conference masterclass committee is delighted to announce that four public masterclasses in  conducting will be held during the 2024 Eastern Region Conference in Providence, RI. The  masterclasses are offered to acknowledge and develop the conducting and rehearsal skills of  outstanding undergraduate and graduate students and to promote student activity at the  conference. We welcome and encourage applications from students in both small and large music  programs. The masterclasses will offer a wonderful learning opportunity for everyone involved. 

The sessions will be held on Thursday, February 29 for Undergraduates; Friday, March 1 for  Graduates, and will be led by renowned conductor-teachers Jeffrey Douma (undergraduate  masterclass on gesture) and Arianne Abela (undergraduate masterclass on rehearsal techniques)  and Jason Max Ferdinand (graduate masterclass on gesture) and Caron Daley (graduate  masterclass on rehearsal techniques). These masterclasses will engage undergraduate and  graduate students currently enrolled full-time in a music degree program. Applicants are not  required to be enrolled in a conducting class at the time of application, only in a college/university  music program. Conference registration fees will be waived for those selected to take part in the  masterclasses. 

There are 2 masterclass tracks: Track A will focus on gesture; Track B will focus on rehearsal  technique. Both tracks are offered to undergraduates and graduate students. The masterclasses  will allow for approximately 15 minutes (undergraduates) and 20 minutes (graduates) of podium  time during the session. Finalists will prepare one piece, selected by the masterclass clinicians from  among the repertoire to be performed by an invited ensemble. 

Besides the public masterclass, students will have a private session with their conductor-teacher  before the respective masterclass. The purpose of these private sessions is to provide a resource  for the student conductors to ask questions, and guidance for the public masterclasses. 

Candidates will find the directions for submitting application materials at Please  email Dr. Katherine Chan, Collegiate R&R Chair, at with any  questions.


Applicants must hold a valid ACDA student membership (memberships are available at, be a full-time student at a college/university at the time of application, and submit a complete application. 

  • October 11, 2023: Application open
  • November 15, 2023: Application and related items due before midnight (EST)
  • January 5, 2024: Notification of finalists


A complete application will include the following materials (submitted electronically via  Submittable)

1. Application form 

2. Audition video recording – one unedited 12 min video of the candidate conducting. The video  should consist of the candidate rehearsing the choir and ending with a run-through of a section of  the piece rehearsed. The rehearsal footage should be unedited. See Audition Format and Duration  for details. 

The URL must be an “unlisted” YouTube video that DOES NOT include identifying information  (i.e. please DO NOT include your name in the URL; please DO NOT include your name on the  YouTube channel) and avoids identifying information in the rehearsal venue. See AUDITION  PREPARATION GUIDELINES below.  

3. In addition, each candidate will submit a short statement (100 words) addressing the following  questions: – Why are you (student) applying to participate in the masterclass? ; What do you want  to gain from the experience? The statement should NOT include identifying information. 

4. $10 entry fee (non-refundable) 


A complete application will include the following materials  

(submitted electronically via Submittable)

1. Application form 

2. Audition video recording – an unedited 12-min video of the candidate conducting two (2)  contrasting pieces of which: 

● One piece is a rehearsal 

● One piece is a non-stop run-through 

The video must not exceed 12 minutes. The URL must be an “unlisted” YouTube video that  DOES NOT include identifying information (i.e. please DO NOT include your name in the URL;  please DO NOT include your name on the YouTube channel) and avoids identifying information in the rehearsal venue. See AUDITION PREPARATION  GUIDELINES below.  

3. In addition, each candidate will submit a short paragraph (100 words) addressing the following  questions: – Why are you (student) applying to participate in the masterclass? What do you want  to gain from the experience? The statement should NOT include identifying information. 

4. $10 entry fee (non-refundable) 


The masterclass committee will appoint a review panel from outside the Eastern Region who will  review all submissions, with the goal of selecting a maximum of sixteen students (eight  undergraduate and eight graduate) to participate in the masterclasses. 

Students can select which masterclass track (gesture and/or rehearsal technique) they wish to be  considered for. Students may choose both if they wish to be considered for both, however the  adjudication panel will make the final decision. 

Based on their video submission, applicants will be adjudicated on the following:

1. Technique: beat pattern, clarity and precision, tempo 

2. Gesture: phrasing, expression, dynamics, effectiveness of gesture 

3. Nonverbal communication, listening skills, rehearsal method 

4. Personal Statement


Applicants will prepare a video recording (unlisted on YouTube) of an audition that meets the  following criteria:

A. Musical Parameters – Undergraduate and Graduate

  • Undergraduates – Students will rehearse and conduct (run-through of a section or entire  
  • piece) one composition for chorus. Selection may be unaccompanied or accompanied. (Run through  of a section) 
  • Graduates – Students will conduct two contrasting works. One piece focuses on rehearsal,  and the other is a run-through. 
  • To support the work of the ACDA Eastern Region Conference theme and the ACDA  Diversity Initiatives Committee, students are strongly encouraged to select one work from a  historically excluded composer. 
  • Excerpts of longer works may be selected. When possible, please include a balance of  rehearsal and performance/“run-through.” 

B. Video Preparation  

All video recordings must be recorded post-August 1, 2022. Video recordings recorded before  August 1, 2022, will NOT be accepted. 

Video recordings must show: 

1. the student conducting a choir in a live performance and rehearsal setting.

C. Video Conducting (Rehearsal and Performance)

  • The applicant should focus on gestural communication, technique, and the development of the  musical product (in much the same manner as a guest conductor in a festival setting).
  • The selection panel will place primary value on gestural communication, and an efficient rehearsal  technique that displays a positive, inclusive, and collaborative atmosphere with singers.
  • The selection panel will also place value on mastery of interpretation and effective  communication. 
  • The performance need not come from a public performance. An uninterrupted performance or  run-through following the rehearsal is acceptable.

D. Camera Angle 

  • The camera angle will show a full-frontal view of the applicant and all conducting movements.
  • The choral sound and comments of the applicant must be clearly audible on the video recording.

E. Personal Identification 

  • The applicants will not identify themselves or the institution of higher learning in the recorded  audition. Please remember to take into account any identifying information visible in the rehearsal  setting, such as banners or sweatshirts displaying the school name. 

F. Audition Format and Duration 

Your video must follow these guidelines:

  • The video recording will show the applicant conducting and rehearsing the choir for a minimum of eight minutes and a maximum of twelve minutes. 
  • Two separate videos will be permitted, however each piece is to be presented consecutively  without stopping. Please only edit the start and stop from one piece to the other and submit them as one total video. 
  • Please identify the title and composer of the piece on the video. 
  • Please do not identify yourself or the institution on the video. Identifying your name/institution  will result in disqualification. 
  • Label your video with your ACDA membership# [eg.. applicant 0123456]
  • Your YouTube channel should not display your name


  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to upload their materials to Submittable by the due date.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the selection committee with the correct URL for accessing the video. It is strongly suggested that the applicant cut and paste the URL directly from the browser into the application. Applicants whose video  auditions are not accessible to the committee will be disqualified. 
  • Videos must be anonymous and submitted as “unlisted.” Submissions with the applicant’s name in the URL, title or in the YouTube channel name will be disqualified. 
  • An incomplete or erroneous application will disqualify the applicant.

To hide your name on your YouTube Channel, follow these instructions:

  • Sign in to YouTube Studio. 
  • From the left menu, select Customization -> Basic info. 
  • Enter your new channel name [eg. ACDA membership #]
  • Click PUBLISH.

Application Deadline:

The application materials are due no later than midnight (EST) on November 15, 2023.  Applicants will be notified of results on January 5, 2024. Note: The committee suggests  uploading your application materials a day or two before the deadline in case you encounter any  unexpected technical issues.

Application Checklist 

⬚ I can see my full self, frontal view, in the video. 

⬚ I can clearly hear all of my verbal instructions to the choir. 

⬚ The sound of the choir is neither too loud nor too soft to be heard. 

⬚ I have clearly announced each selection before rehearsing it, or included the titles in the video. 

⬚ My video’s total length is between 8 and 12 minutes 

⬚ My video includes footage focusing on rehearsal and a run through 

⬚ I have not identified myself or my institution in the video, nor does my name or my institution’s name  appear in the video title, or YouTube channel to which I have uploaded it. 

⬚ I have checked my YouTube video’s URL for accuracy. 

⬚ I have set my YouTube video to “unlisted” not “private” or “public”. 

⬚ I have submitted my application by the deadline as printed in the guidelines (Nov. 15, 2023).

Once you have completed ALL of the above, your application is complete.


Applicants will be notified by email of the student conductors selected to participate in the  masterclass by January 5, 2024. Repertoire for the masterclass will be selected by the masterclass  clinician, in consultation with the masterclass committee, and emailed to the selected masterclass  participants by January 5, 2024. It is the students’ responsibility to acquire the selected  compositions at their own expense. Photocopies of the score are not permitted. However, a legal  PDF may be used on a tablet. 

All sessions in the ACDA Student Conducting Masterclasses are open to registered conference  attendees.


ACDA is not responsible for any expenses incurred by conductors chosen to take part in the 2024  Eastern Region Conducting Masterclasses. 

No member of the masterclass committee, judge, or person connected with the selection of  finalists shall be involved with any decision involving their student (over the past three years) who  has applied or been selected as a participant in the ACDA Conducting Masterclass. All decisions  made by the judges are final. 

Dr. Katherine Chan, Eastern Region Collegiate R&R Chair 
Dr. Patrick Chiu, Committee Member 
Dr. Wendy Moy, Committee Member 
Dr. Brandon Williams, Committee Member 
Morgan Beaton, ACDA Eastern Region Student Representative Committee Member


Have Questions? Please reach out to Dr. Katherine Chan via email: