Conductors and some of the local musicians from the 2017 UMass Conducting Institute on top of Mt. Holyoke (J.A. Skinner State Park, Hadley, MA).  Photo credit: Richard Cuoco.

Conductors and some of the local musicians from the 2017 UMass Conducting Institute on top of Mt. Holyoke (J.A. Skinner State Park, Hadley, MA).

Photo credit: Richard Cuoco.

The UMass Conducting Institute 2019

jULY 24-27, 2019

REGISTRATION OPENS January 15, 2019!

Register Early - spots fill quickly.


All sessions will be held on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Fine Arts Center and George N. Parks Band Building.  This workshop is focused on helping you become a better conductor, teacher, and listener.  Activities include conducting the UMass Summer Wind Ensemble and clinics/sessions that directly relate to your life as a conductor, teacher, and artist: literature selection, score study, rehearsal strategies, creativity, conducting technique, and leadership skills. 


Conducting Participant (limit of 16)

Conducting Participants will conduct the UMass Summer Wind Ensemble each day and participate in all sessions.  This track is designed for conductors that are working in any level of music education, professional music, or community organizations and/or have completed undergraduate conducting courses. Music educators and conductors of all ages are welcome, but this is not an "intro to conducting" experience. Total participant workshop fee is $675.00. This total includes a $100 non-refundable deposit. Enrollment will open on January 15, 2019, and will close May 15, 2019. No refunds will be given for cancellations after May 22, 2019.


Auditor Participants participate in all of the sessions, but do not conduct the ensembles.  Enrollment for the Auditor track is open and recommended for musicians of all levels and abilities.  Auditors are an invaluable part of this workshop! Total auditor workshop fee is $250. This total includes a $100 non-refundable deposit. Enrollment will open on January 15, 2019 and will close May 15, 2019. No refunds will be given for cancellations after May 22, 2019.



Overture to Candide - Bernstein/Grundman

Lincolnshire Posy (I, II, V, VI) - Grainger/Fennell/Rogers

First Suite in E-flat – Holst

Cajun Folk Songs - Ticheli

Folk Dances - Shostakovich/Reynolds

Three Ayres from Gloucester – Stuart

Chorale and Alleluia - Hanson

Dusk – Bryant

Air for Band – Erickson

October - Whitacre



 Dr. Matthew Westgate

Dr. Matthew Westgate

 Dr. Michael Votta

Dr. Michael Votta

Dr. Matthew Westgate is the Director of Wind Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, MA) where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting and wind literature.  A more detailed biography can be found on this website or 

GUEST CLINICIAN 2019: Michael Votta has been hailed by critics as “a conductor with the drive and ability to fully relay artistic thoughts” and praised for his “interpretations of definition, precision and most importantly, unmitigated joy.”  Ensembles under his direction have received critical acclaim in the United States, Europe, and Asia for their “exceptional spirit, verve and precision,” their “sterling examples of innovative programming” and “the kind of artistry that is often thought to be the exclusive purview of top symphonic ensembles.”  

He currently serves as Director of Bands at the University of Maryland where he holds the rank of Professor.  Under his leadership, the UM Wind Orchestra has been invited to perform at the international conference of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles as well as national and regional conferences of the College Band Directors National Association.  UMWO has also performed with major artists such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, and the Imani Winds.  UMWO has commissioned and premiered numerous works by composers such as Andre Previn, Steven Mackey, Alvin Singleton, and James Syler.

Votta has taught conducting seminars in the US and Israel and has guest conducted and lectured throughout the world with organizations including the Beijing Wind Orchestra, the Prague Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the National Arts Camp at Interlochen, the Midwest Clinic, and the Conductors Guild.

His performances have been heard in broadcasts throughout the US, on Austrian National Radio (ÖRF), and Southwest German Television, and have been released internationally on the Primavera label.  Numerous major composers including George Crumb, Christopher Rouse, Louis Andriessen, Karel Husa, Olly Wilson, Barbara Kolb, and Warren Benson have praised his performances of their works.

His arrangements and editions for winds have been performed and recorded by university and professional wind ensembles in the US, Europe, and Japan.  He is also the author and editor of books and articles on wind literature and conducting. 

He is currently the President-Elect of the Eastern Division of the College Band Directors National Association, and the Big Ten Band Directors Association.  He previously served as Editor of the CBDNA Journal, as a member of the Executive Board of the International Society for the Investigation of Wind Music (IGEB), and on the board of the Conductors Guild.

Before his appointment at Maryland, Votta held conducting positions at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Duke University, Ithaca College, the University of South Florida, Miami University (Ohio) and Hope College.

Votta holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting degree from the Eastman School of Music where he served as Assistant Conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble and studied with Donald Hunsberger.  A native of Michigan, Votta received his undergraduate training and Master of Music degrees from the University of Michigan, where he studied with H. Robert Reynolds.

As a clarinetist, Votta has performed as a soloist throughout the US and Europe.  His solo and chamber music recordings are available on the Partridge and Albany labels.

 Frank Battisti

Frank Battisti

GUEST CLINICIAN 2019: Frank Battisti began his teaching career as an instrumental teacher in the Ithaca (New York) Public Schools in 1953. He became Director of Bands at Ithaca High School in 1955 and remained there until 1967. He also served as chairperson of the Instrumental Music Department from 1961 - 67.

The Ithaca High School Band, under Battisti’s direction, achieved national recognition as one of the finest and most unique high school bands in the nation. The concert band performed at the Ithaca College School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Music Educators National Conference (MENC), Mid-West National Band and Orchestra Clinic (Chicago 1965), Rockefeller Center, the New York World’s Fair (1964) and at other regional and national music events. In 1997 the John Philip Sousa Foundation selected Battisti’s Ithaca High School Concert Band for their Historic Roll of Honor of High School Concert Bands, 1920-1980. Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Director of Wind Studies at North Texas State University, hails the Ithaca High School Band under the leadership of Frank Battisti “as one of the truly great achievements of instrumental music education in the twentieth century.”

From 1958 - 67, the Ithaca High School Band commissioned 24 works for band. The commissioned composers included Warren Benson, David Borden, Carlos Chavez, Barney Childs, Walter Hartley, Vincent Persichetti, Armand Russell, Alec Wilder and Pulitzer Prize in Music winners Leslie Bassett, Karel Husa, Robert Ward, Gunther Schuller.

Guest soloists and conductors appearing with the Ithaca High School Band from 1955-67 included Benny Goodman, Carl “Doc” Severinson, Donald Sinta, Harvey Phiillips, The New York Brass Quintet, Jimmy Burke, Vincent Persichetti, Norman Dello Joio, Thomas Beversdorf, Clyde Roller, Frederick Fennell, William D. Revelli and Walter Beeler.

Battisti was conductor of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and a faculty member at Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music from 1967 – 69. In 1969 President Gunther Schuller invited him to come to the New England Conservatory in Boston to start the wind ensemble. Under his 30 years of leadership the ensemble became recognized as one of the premiere ensembles of its kind in the United States and throughout the world. The ensemble recorded for Centaur and Albany records and its performances were broadcast over the National Public Radio Network (NPR) and other classical music radio stations throughout the United States and world. While at the Conservatory Battisti commission works from distinguished national and international composers such as Robert Ceely, John Harbison, Robin Holloway, Witold Lutoslawski, William Thomas McKinley, Michael Colgrass, Daniel Pinkham, Gunther Schuller, Robert Selig, and Sir Michael Tippett. When he retired from the Conservatory in 1999 he was named Conductor Emeritus of the NEC Wind Ensemble.

Dr. Battisti has guest conducted numerous university, college, military, professional and high school bands and wind ensembles and served as a visiting teacher/clinician throughout the United States, England, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Scandinavia, Australia, China, Taiwan, Canada, South America, South Korea, Iceland and the former U.S.S.R.

Past President of the U.S. College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), Battisti is also a member of the American Bandmasters Association (ABA) and founder of the National Wind Ensemble Conference, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble (MYWE), New England College Band Association (NECBA) and the Tanglewood Institute’s Young Artists Wind Ensemble.

In 1986 and 1993 Dr. Battisti was a visiting fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge University, England. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Ithaca College in 1992 and the Ithaca College Alumni Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003, the first Louis and Adrienne Krasner Excellence in Teaching Award from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1997, the Lowell Mason Award from the Massachusetts Music Educators Association in 1998, the New England College Band Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999, Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic's Medal of Honor in 2001 and the National Band Director’ AWAPA in 2006. 


College Credit/Professional Development Points

Graduate credit is available from UMass Continuing & Professional Education.  The cost for one credit is $145.00 and $245.00 for two credits.  Registration for these credits will be handled separately.  Email for more information.

Massachusetts educators qualify for 45 PDPs (Professional Development Points) for participating in the Institute.  Certificates will be made available for anyone (within MA or those living outside MA) interested.

Housing/dining options

Housing is available on campus for the modest fee of $53.00/night.  Indicate your housing needs on your registration form.

UMass Dining operates the #1 university food service in the country and there are numerous on-campus options for you.  Food is also available in nearby Hadley and downtown Amherst.


Jan 15-May 15, 2019! Register early!


For more information, contact:

Dr. Matthew Westgate -