Choral Conducting Symposium

Updated June 4, 2024

Applications for 2024’s symposium are now closed.

The SMTD Choral Conducting Symposium is an exciting program devoted to the enhancement of beautiful and communicative choral singing.  Sessions on rehearsal techniques, Dalcroze, vocal technique, African and African-American music, social justice repertoire, score study, and movement will take place during the Symposium.

Students will conduct in call and be videotaped to aid in the evaluation of their work.  Reading sessions of new repertoire will take place daily as well as practical opportunities for workshop participants.  Katerina Gimon will appear as our composer in residence.

Program Dates: July 8 – July 12, 2024

*Final Application Deadline: June 1, 2024

*Housing + meal options are no longer available for those who register for the in-person program.

See below for Tuition & Housing Information, as well as Application Requirements

Symposium Faculty

Eugene Rogers

Director of Choral Activities

A two-time Michigan Emmy Award winner, a 2017 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient, and a 2015 GRAMMY® Award nominee, Eugene Rogers is recognized as a leading conductor and pedagogue throughout the United States and abroad. In addition to being the founding director of EXIGENCE, Dr. Rogers is the director of choirs and an associate professor of conducting at the University of Michigan. Recently, he was named as the fifth Artistic Director of the two-time GRAMMY® Award-Winning Ensemble, The Washington Chorus (Washington, D.C.).

Rogers holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in choral music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in choral conducting from U-M. He currently serves on the board of Chorus America and is the former national chair of the Diversity Initiatives Committee for the American Choral Directors Association.

Mark Stover

Mark Stover

Director of Choral Activities – Calvin College

Former Associate Directors of Choirs – University of Michigan

Regarded as a leading conductor and pedagogue in the U.S. and abroad, Mark Stover shares his passion for people and building community through pursuing the highest levels of artistry. He joined SMTD in 2018 as associate director of choirs, conducting the Men’s Glee Club and the University Choir, teaching undergraduate conducting, and serving as the conductor of the Michigan Youth Chamber Singers.

Stover has been featured as a conductor and pedagogue throughout the United States and abroad and has led ensembles in Ukraine and France. In 2014, Stover guest-conducted the famed St. Olaf Choir and led the ensemble in performances throughout the Midwest. Upcoming guest engagements include 2018 Together In Hope Project, a professional touring choral ensemble from the Twin Cities who will travel to perform several concerts in Rome, and the 2019 Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools in Singapore.

Julie Skadsem

Associate Professor of Music Education

Julie Skadsem is associate professor of choral music education and conducting at the University of Michigan where she conducts the Women’s Glee Club and teaches courses in conducting, choral techniques, and vocal methods. Before coming to Michigan in fall 2006, Skadsem was associate professor of music education at the University of Alabama, where she taught courses in choir, conducting, and music education, and was the founding director of the Birmingham Children’s Choir. She taught vocal music (7-12) in Ironwood, Michigan and is an active clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor.

She is a member of the VoiceCare Network and is certified in Dalcroze eurhythmics, Orff-Schulwerk, and Kodaly. In addition to her choral work, Skadsem is also an active researcher. Her research on choral conducting and rehearsal techniques has been presented at MENC, ACDA, and the Southeastern Music Education Symposium, and is being published at the state, regional, and national levels. She currently serves on the editorial board of the Southern Music Education Journal.

Program Highlights / Selected Repertoire

Composer in Residence - ANDREA CLEARFIELD

Choral Conducting - guest composer 2024Creating deep emotive musical languages that build cultural and artistic bridges, the music of Andrea Clearfield is performed widely in the U.S. and abroad. She has written over 170 works for opera, chorus, orchestra, chamber ensemble, dance and multimedia collaborations, exploring subjects ranging from freedom and oppression to ancient cultures, environmental sustainability, health and healing, gender and technology. Among her works are 17 large-scale cantatas including one for The Philadelphia Orchestra in collaboration with storyteller and writer Charlotte Blake Alston. She was awarded a Pew Center International Residency Award, a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, two Independence Foundation and Leeway Foundation Fellowships, and Fellowships at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, American Academy in Rome, Yaddo, MacDowell and Copland House among others. A number of her works are inspired by fieldwork that she conducted in the Nepalese Himalaya documenting Tibetan music. Her opera on the great Tibetan yogi Milarepa, MILA, Great Sorcerer, with librettists Jean-Claude van

Itallie and Lois Walden, was presented at the acclaimed NYC Prototype Festival in 2019. She is currently at work on a cantata for drag soloist, chorus and chamber orchestra entitled “Long Live the Queen (a her-story of drag) with librettist/ drag artist Cookie Diorio. Dr. Clearfield received a DMA in Composition from Temple University where she was awarded the Presidential Fellowship. She served on the composition faculty at The University of the Arts from 1986- 2011. She played keyboards with the Relâche Ensemble for 25 years and held the honor of performing with the Court of the Dalai Lama. Clearfield has served on the Board of the Recording Academy/Grammy’s Philadelphia Chapter and currently serves on the Executive Board of Wildflower Composers, amplifying voices of young female, transgender, nonbinary, and genderqueer composers. Passionate about building community around the arts, she is also founder, curator and host of the Philadelphia SALON, featuring contemporary, classical, jazz, folk, electronic, dance and world music since 1986. She is represented by Black Tea Music. More information at

Selected Repertoire

*Repertoire for this year’s symposium will include the following works:

  • Mendelssohn, Elijah
  • Gibbs, Gloryland Medley
  • Copland, Old American Songs. Specific songs that will be covered:
    • At the River
    • Zion’s Walls
    • Simple Gifts

*Additional repertoire to be added in the coming weeks

2024 Symposium Schedule

A final schedule for this summer’s symposium can be found by clicking the button below.

Tuition & Housing Information

Tuition options for the 2024 Choral Conducting Symposium are listed below. Applicants will be able to select their preferred option via the workshop application.

Program Tuition


  • $1000 – Participant + Housing & Meals

*Housing + meal options are no longer available to registraints.


  • $650 – Participant WITHOUT Housing & Meals

IMPORTANT NOTE: Cost provides housing 3:00 P.M. Sunday, July 7, 2024, through 12:00 P.M. Saturday, July 13, 2024. Meals provided will include breakfast, lunch, and dinner, beginning with dinner on Sunday, July 7, 2024, and ending with brunch on Saturday, July 13, 2024.

Housing / Meal Information

Participants will be housed in the following dormitory: Baits Housing

Participants will receive meals in the following dormitory: Bursley Dining Hall

Participant tuition will include all program activities for the duration of the week. Participants must pay for their own travel to and from Ann Arbor, MI, and should plan to arrive by July 7, 2024, and depart on July 13, 2024.

Application Requirements

Those wishing to participate in the 2024 Choral Conducting Symposium should complete the application form by including the following by June 1, 2024:

  • A description of their musical activities
  • Alink to their resume in the application

Participants are also responsible for securing / bringing the following items to the symposium: 

  • A conducting baton
  • A personal recording device (i.e. phone, iPad, etc.)

Applicants should be aware that there is a non-refundable $50 application fee in addition to the program’s tuition cost listed above. Please email [email protected] if you have any questions regarding the application process.

    Contact Us

    Office of Engagement & Outreach-Youth & Adult Programs
    University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance
    Stearns Building │ 2005 Baits Drive │ Ann Arbor, MI 48109
    Phone: (734) 936-2660
    Email: [email protected]

    Engagement & Outreach Staff monitors emails and phone lines at the following times
    Sunday – Thursday, 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. EST