Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting, Band & Wind Ensemble

Application deadlines are specific to degree programs. See our Graduate Admissions page for a list of all deadlines.

Designed for students seeking to become highly-qualified professional conductors through intensive study with a major artist-teacher, this program offers an exceptional and rigorous musical education that includes conducting and rehearsal technique, score study, and surveys of historically important and diverse, contemporary repertoire. The faculty employ an apprentice-like approach to mentoring and scholarship with significant time allotted to each student, emphasizing personal and musical growth and leadership development in all situations – artistic, academic, and administrative. Each DMA student serves as an assistant conductor to the conducting faculty in a variety of musical environments, works with faculty, student, and guest composers, and has many opportunities to conduct a variety of ensembles within the historic band program. The University of Michigan Band program is a leader in commissioning new works from a diverse range of composers, while also maintaining a rigorous focus on the historical canon. The DMA culminates with conducting public performances with repertoire equivalent to three concerts in lieu of a dissertation.


Completion of the program normally requires six terms of full-time study beyond the master’s degree. Students are expected to attain candidacy at the beginning of the sixth term.

  • Ensemble Conducting
  • Private Lessons
  • Musicology & Music Theory

Final Project:

The dissertation requirements consist of conducting public performances with repertoire equivalent to three concerts. The programs should include a diversity of musical styles.

Silent Advisor

Degree requirements and term-by-term layout for current students.


Nearly all DMA students receive full-tuition fellowships. Most also receive health benefits and a stipend attached to a Graduate Student Assistantship, which can vary in proportion to the appointment fraction and the duties associated with it. In addition to the funding packages offered by the SMTD, Rackham students are also eligible to apply for a wide range of fellowships to fund research, travel, and performance.

Residency Requirement

At least one academic year of full-time residence is required.


Jason Fettig

Professor of Music and Director of Bands
Bands, Conducting

Jayce Ogren

Assistant Professor of Music and Associate Director of Orchestras

John Pasquale

Donald R. Shepherd Clinical Professor of Conducting; Director of Michigan Marching and Athletic Bands; Associate Director of Bands; Faculty Associate, African Studies Center, LSA International Institute; and Chief Marshal to the University

Eugene Rogers

Associate Professor of Music and Director of University Choirs

Ellen Rowe

Chair of Conducting and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Music

Courtney Snyder

Associate Professor of Music and Associate Director of Bands

Performance Opportunities

From large ensembles in celebrated concert halls to chamber groups in intimate recital spaces, performance opportunities across all disciplines abound, with nearly 900 student performances each academic year. Whether your focus is on early, classical, or contemporary music, whether your passion is for jazz, electronic, or world music, there is an ensemble—or in many cases, multiple ensembles—to suit your interests.


Symphony Band

Michael Haithcock, conductor
The University of Michigan Symphony Band is a leader of the wind band movement in America. Through recordings and performances in prestigious venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts, and Milan’s La Scala , the U-M Symphony Band is known for its professional quality of performance and keen sense of “trailblazing” in building repertoire.The Symphony Band splits into chamber groups for one concert each term, allowing the musicians to improve communications between instrument sections, helping to build a more cohesive band when they again rehearse as a full ensemble. The Chamber Winds perform both standard and modern works.


Concert Band

Courtney Snyder, conductor
Concert Band provides large ensemble performance experiences in a wide range of musical styles and periods for all wind and percussion performers at U-M. The music performed varies from term to term and is selected to provide a challenging opportunity for musical growth


University & Campus Bands

John Pasquale, conductor
Richard Frey, conductor
Primarily for non-music majors who desire a concert band experience, the University and Campus Bands are open to the entire U-M community and offer a great opportunity to enjoy an immersive musical experience and to learn from SMTD’s renowned faculty. The University Band is the most advanced non-music-major band and placement is by audition. Campus Band is open to any student with experience.


Michigan Marching Band

John Pasquale, director
Open to all U-M students, including those at Dearborn and Flint, the Michigan Marching Band has thrilled hundreds of thousands of fans with exciting performances for more than 100 years, making it one of the great college bands in the country. A beloved U-M cultural ambassador, the MMB inspires school spirit as it "takes the field" at the Big House in Ann Arbor, and at away football games, throughout the fall semester.  The MMB has performed at Super Bowls, Rose Bowls, Gator Bowls and more.

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