conducting apprenticeships

The Conducting Apprenticeship Program provides gifted conductors with education in adult chorus leadership rarely obtained through graduate conducting programs. This program provides learning experiences that complement the education obtained through traditional degree programs. In addition to the possibility of conducting, this experience includes learning about:

  • season repertoire planning;
  • long range artistic and organizational planning;
  • an overview of fundraising; and
  • other administrative necessities.

Description of Responsibilities

Artistic responsibilities:
Be prepared to conduct occasional sectional rehearsals and warm ups; assist with seating arrangements, and score markings; sing with the chorus when not otherwise assigned; observe auditions and reassessments; assist with concert production; other duties as assigned. (Note: Mendelssohn Club rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings from 7:30-10 p.m. and on occasional Saturdays)

Organizational responsibilities:
Attend occasional Mendelssohn Club Chorus Management Council meetings and meet the mentors described below and others in order to gain broad familiarity with the range of issues in chorus leadership and management.

The Mentors

The Apprentice will be associated with mentors for artistic matters (normally the Artistic Director and Assistant Conductor), and for organizational matters. The mentors will help provide a coherent understanding of how the multiple areas of activity for the chorus director fit together and ensure that the program is meeting both the educational needs of the Apprentice and the artistic and organizational support needs of Mendelssohn Club. In addition to mentors, there are many individuals with special expertise who can be available for the Apprentice to learn more about a particular aspect of chorus administration. Within this structure, the Apprentice should take considerable initiative and integrate her/himself into the artistic and operational aspects of the chorus.

The Selection Process

A small number of applicants, based on education and experience, will be invited for interviews and auditions. The audition consists of conducting Mendelssohn Club for approximately 10 minutes at a Wednesday evening rehearsal in September. Repertoire to be conducted in the audition will be assigned by Artistic Director Paul Rardin.

Criteria for selection include:

  • strong artistic background appropriate to choral conducting
  • initiative and energy
  • interpersonal skills
  • leadership ability
  • organizational skills such as persistence, practicality, vision, and reliability


The annual stipend for the Apprenticeship is $1,000. The Apprentice should expect to spend an average of 4-6 hours per week on this project (including rehearsals and administrative participation).

If you have any questions regarding the application process or need more information, please leave a message at (215) 735-9922.

Application Procedure

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three references to Applications will be accepted until August 1, 2017.