The Florida State University's Choral Conducting Program is nationally and internationally renowned for the caliber of its students and the quality of instruction those students receive. Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of Undergraduate Choral Studies and Dr. Michael Hanawalt, Director of Graduate Choral Studies, oversee a program in which students enjoy extensive opportunities to conduct in a variety of settings. Students pursuing the M.M. and the Ph.D. in choral conducting/Music Education participate in four semesters of a conducting master class as well as FSU's Choral Union, an ensemble in which they conduct all repertoire. Ph.D. students and M.M students also serve as teaching assistants and assistant conductors for the University Chorale/ Tallahassee Community Chorus, Chamber Choir, Gospel Choir, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Florida State Opera Company, and Men's and Women's Glee Clubs. Additionally, students pursuing the M.M. assemble and prepare an ensemble for a recital in their second year of study.
While at FSU, students engage in study of the art and science of conducting, incorporating techniques from FSU's outstanding choral faculty. FSU's faculty shares a deep devotion not only to the crafting of fine performances but also to the best practices of music education. This dual emphasis allows for latitude in students' focus. In addition to preeminent musicology and theory experts, FSU's faculty includes superb band and orchestra conductors. Students have the opportunity to observe and receive instruction from those conductors. This broad experience contributes to the excellent job placement rate of the Choral Conducting Program's graduates.
The Choral Conducting Program's current students are active in the Music Educator's National Conference and the American Choral Director's Association on the local and national level, publishing articles, attending, and presenting at conferences. Individuals have also been selected to lead high school choral clinics, participate in master classes, and assist in leadership of music festivals. Graduates of FSU are at the helm of outstanding choral ensembles across the nation and throughout the world, including: Belmont University, Vanderbilt University, Pennsylvania State University, Ithaca College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Texas Christian University, Sam Houston University, Wichita State University, University of Central Missouri, Tarleton State University, San Jose State University, California State University Bakersfield, University of Idaho,Clemson University,Lake Forest University, Syracuse University, State University of New York Oswego, University of Louisiana Monroe, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Tennessee Tech University, University of South Dakota, Truman State University , James Madison University, Oregon State University,Westfield University, University of Victoria, Ohio University, California State University Fullerton, University of Missouri Kansas City, University of Missouri, and Troy University.
Dr. Kevin Fenton (C) and members of the Chamber Choir present a concert in Opperman Music Hall in April 2017.