Conducting Mentorship Program

The Department of Music at Washington and Lee offers a unique and innovative opportunity for talented young musicians pursuing a career in conducting. It is four years of direct mentorship designed to prepare future conductors to succeed at virtually any level. The Conducting Mentorship Program, offered for both Choral (CCMP) and Instrumental (ICMP), gives aspiring conductors ample podium time in front of our major ensembles and the opportunity to work one-on-one with W&L's award winning music faculty. Graduates of the Conducting Mentorship Program manage some of the finest music programs in the country, with their experience at W&L providing real world experience unparalleled in undergraduate education.

"Being in ICMP has enhanced my passion and love for music of any kind. The ICMP program has given me first-hand experience with teaching and conducting the UWE and with that experience, I have gained a better understanding of the complexities behind making music. From this, I have also gained a greater respect for educators and professionals who make conducting a career. Conducting, I have learned, is more than the basic movement of your arms when keeping tempo or displaying of a gesture. Conducting, is an attempt to portray and embody music written by a composer, which turns out is an almost impossible task. The ICMP experience helps you breakdown what a composer is trying to say and aids you in illustrating that to an ensemble."

~Daniel Chandler '25

Key Program Features

  • Multiple years of conducting and pedagogical training done in close, purposely small groups.
  • Immediate work learning how to program W&L concerts and events under the guidance of W&L faculty.
  • Immediate leadership positions with the W&L choirs, including assistant conductor and section leader.
  • Podium time with the W&L ensembles beginning in the sophomore year, including the chance to conduct advanced works with the W&L Singers, Wind Ensemble, and University Orchestra, both on campus and during national and international tours.
  • K-12 Choral and Instrumental Certification, if pursued.

Follow the link, The Columns: Finding Their Passions on the Podium, to read about members of the Choral Conducting Mentorship Program finding their passions on the podium.