Choral Studies

Admission into the Graduate School

All courses of graduate music study must meet the general requirements of the Graduate School as seen in the catalog. For the M.M. and D.M.A. degree and individual area requirements see the graduate catalog.


Bachelor of Music degree or its equivalent, including at least the following, 2 Conducting classes; Music History and Literature; Performance–senior standing in a principal medium; Theory and Composition; Diction. Strongly recommended: one year of French or German; a Bachelor of Music degree with major in organ, piano, or voice performance, or music education.

Keyboard and Voice Proficiency

Both keyboard and voice evaluation will be made by the choral faculty during the student’s audition procedures (part two of the audition procedure) to determine if additional study in either area is required.

Audition in Graduate Studies for Choral Conducting

Applicants should submit the following:

  1. A curriculum vita that chronicles conducting experience in public school, college/university work, or in professional settings
  2. Three letters of recommendation
  3. A repertoire list of choral music conducted
  4. An essay which documents the conductor’s career goals and aspirations, as well as the reason for pursuing graduate studies at The University of Alabama.
  5. A DVD and/or videotape consisting of 20-30 minutes of both a rehearsal and a recent performance which includes music of contrasting styles/historical periods
  6. The graduate audition in Choral Conducting is juried and consists of a 20-minute rehearsal with University Singers on literature which will be provided for advance preparation by the applicant. University Singers will be fully prepared so that the student may focus on artistic and musical concepts.
  7. In addition, an interview with Dr. Ratledge, Director of Choral Activities, is required.  Students who areinterested in auditioning for the graduate program (either M.M. or D.M.A. in Choral Conducting should contact Dr. Ratledge to:
    1. Schedule an audition/interview date
    2. Obtain specific information on the music conducted at the audition
  8. At the time of the audition, the applicant’s basic musicianship will be evaluated: sightsinging–singing a melody at sight containing chromaticism and modulation, demonstrating keyboard proficiency, and basic conducting patterns and gestures.


The applicant for doctoral study in choral conducting should have had significant experience as a conductor and teacher, (a minimum of five years teaching/conducting experience recommended), demonstrating a mastery of advanced conducting techniques gained through experience beyond the training level, knowledge of choral literature, and a substantial repertoire of repertoire conducted.

Applicants must  demonstrate knowledge of the choral repertoire from all the stylistic periods  by taking a choral literature placement examination.   This assessment will include not  only historical information but aural recognition of representative choral literature.

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