Conducting (CR)

CR 109 Chapel Choir 1 Credits

Comprised of undergraduate students in their first year of study, Chapel Choir focuses on music for men’s, women’s, and mixed chorus. The ensemble provides the fundamentals of artistic choral ensemble singing and a foundation for all Westminster choral ensembles. Placement hearing required.

CR 209 Schola Cantorum 1 Credits

Comprised of undergraduate students in their second year of study, Schola Cantorum focuses on music for mixed chorus and continues to build and refine the skills developed in Chapel Choir. This ensemble presents campus, community, and regional performances. Placement hearing required.

CR 215 Fundamentals of Conducting 3 Credits

This course provides the foundation of conducting technique and philosophy as it relates to choral ensemble. Primarily, it deals with the development of basic pedagogical proficiencies, specifically alignment, Laban gestural vocabulary, breathing, beat patterns, consistent tempo, and the development of expressive gesture for relaying various styles of music, i.e., legato, staccato and marcato. Basic philosophical understandings concerning the human aspects of the music making process and the role the conductor plays in that process also are emphasized. Specific techniques for dealing with technical elements, e.g., fermata, dynamics, changes of tempo, contrasts in style, also are covered. The overall focus of the course is to establish the important relationship between ear, body, and the choral sound.

Prerequisite(s): TH 141.

CR 315 Techniques of Conducting 3 Credits

Continued development of conducting technique with emphasis on more complex styles and patterns, and on communication through appropriate gestures. Further improvement in conducting various dynamics and articulations, as well as more effective use of the left hand. Rehearsal procedures, repertoire programming, score preparation, and baton techniques are incorporated into the course.

Prerequisite(s): CR 215.

CR 490 Independent Study and Research 1-4 Credits

Students may pursue a special topic for which they have prepared through prior course work. Only one project may be scheduled in a semester. The project may involve 1-4 credit hours. Students may count up to a maximum of 18 independent study hours toward graduation. Approval of the faculty sponsor, department chair, and dean required prior to the first day of the semester in which the project is to be completed. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 required.

Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.

CR 505 Advanced Conducting 3 Credits

A continuation of the conducting studies begun in CR 215 and CR 315, this course aims to be more student-centered, following the process from repertoire planning to the final performance. Intensive score preparation, advanced rehearsal techniques, performance practice and baton technique.

Prerequisite(s): CR 315.

CR 509 Symphonic Choir 1 Credits

A large mixed chorus comprised of students above the lower division, including graduate students from all disciplines. The ensemble regularly performs in the region and focuses on the major choral/orchestral repertoire along with a wide variety of repertoire for large mixed chorus. Placement hearing required.

CR 511 Westminster Choir 1 Credits

A highly select ensemble that performs and records a wide variety of choral repertoire, the Westminster Choir regularly tours nationally and internationally, and aspires to the highest professional standards. Members are selected by audition from all Westminster students above the freshman level. The requirements for selection include good academic standing, strong musicianship, and superior vocal talent. Auditions are held in the fall semester and students participate for the academic year.

CR 513 Williamson Voices 1 Credits

A chamber choir with a unique mission that combines performance and outreach education. Repertoire is chosen from a broad spectrum of literature, including world music and contemporary choral works. Auditions are held in the fall semester and students participate for the academic year.

CR 515 Westminster Kantorei 1 Credits

An early music vocal chamber ensemble specializing in music before 1750, with occasional forays into more contemporary repertoire. [Although the ensemble will generally consist of around 16 singers, the exact make-up of the ensemble will vary from semester to semester, depending on the works to be studied and performed.] Repertoire will include works for vocal ensemble and works featuring significant solo work. The entire ensemble will rehearse three hours per week. Keyboardists may audition for the ensemble. Auditions are held in the fall semester and students participate for the academic year.

CR 517 Master Singers 1 Credits

A mixed ensemble serving as the choir for Graduate Conducting, Sacred Music and Music Education majors. Repertoire consists of a wide variety of choral works drawn from all style periods, works appropriate for use in churches and in schools at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Four semesters are required for all graduate Choral Conducting majors. Two semesters are required for Sacred Music majors, and those Music Education majors who have selected conducting as their performance field. This ensemble is non-auditioned and open to all students.

CR 524 Vocal Techniques for Choirs 3 Credits

Study of vocal techniques appropriate for use in choral rehearsals and for teaching class voice. Techniques for effecting change in group vocal productions are discussed, including such topics as the identification of group vocal problems and mental and physical preparation of a group for good vocal production. Techniques to be developed include (1) how to communicate information about vocal technique to amateur singers, (2) exercises used to develop choral sound by improving diction, dynamics, legato, staccato, martellato, high and low registers, resonance, vowel modification, etc., (3) how to train singers to use a vocal production specifically appropriate to the repertoire of various style periods and the demands of individual composers, and (4) conducting methods for good choral and vocal training. Recommended both for conducting majors and for students in other major programs, including those for whom the voice is not the primary performance medium.