masters degree in wind conducting (M.M.)


Conducting Opportunities

The Wind Studies area is comprised of four major ensembles – Wind Ensemble, Symphony Band, Concert Band, and the Minuteman Marching Band.  Other related ensembles include Hoop Band, Percussion Ensemble, UMass Marimba Ensemble, MASS Marimba Band, and Brass Choir (among others). Wind Conducting majors are assigned to, and consistently conduct, Wind Ensemble and/or Symphony Band, but opportunities to work with other performance groups may be arranged depending on interest and ability.  UMass ensembles provide outstanding opportunities for conducting in rehearsal and concert.


Earned Bachelor’s Degree in music and admission to the Master of Music program is required. Teaching experience preferred.

Financial Support

The Masters Program 10-hour assistantship offers monetary compensation up to $36,000 per year, which includes: full tuition waiver, waiver of most university fees, waiver of most health insurance fees, and work stipend.

Application Materials and Deadline

To apply, please send a link to a Youtube channel or 15-minute DVD of rehearsal and performance footage (camera to face of conductor); a representative list of repertoire conducted; a one-page philosophy of music education or writing sample; a current professional CV including reference contact information.

All materials should be received no later than January 1, 2020. Selected candidates will be invited for an on-site audition in February 2020. *Acceptance into any Music Department Graduate program requires academic acceptance by the university as well as acceptance by the Music Department.

Please submit online to, or send materials to:

Dr. Matthew Westgate

Department of Music and Dance - 257 FAC

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

151 Presidents Drive

Amherst, MA 01003

Jared Bloch (‘19), graduate conductor

Jared Bloch (‘19), graduate conductor


Questions about the Graduate school:

Graduate Program Director

Professor Erinn E. Knyt

(413) 545-1247

366 Fine Arts Center


Questions about the Masters Conducting Program:

Director of Wind Studies

Dr. Matthew Westgate

Phone: 413-545-6056




2011: Dr. Brian Messier, Director of Bands, Belchertown High School; Director of The Valley Winds (Belchertown, MA) (*student of James Patrick Miller)

2012: Justin Falvo, Director of Bands, Sutton High School (Sutton, MA) (*student of James Patrick Miller)

2013: Charlie O'Brien, Director of Bands, Tomah Regional High School (Tomah, WI) (*student of James Patrick Miller)

2014: Megan Cooney, Director of Athletic Bands, St. Ambrose University (Davenport, IA) (*student of James Patrick Miller)

2015: James Shetler

2016: Colby Vasquez, Director of Bands/Performing Arts Department Chair, William C. Overfelt High School (San Jose, CA)

2017: David Morris, Director of Bands, Hatfield Public Schools (Hatfield, MA)

2018: Matthew Sypek

2019: Jared Bloch, Director of Bands, Wachusett Regional High School (Wachusett, MA)

2020: Jose Ignacio Blesa Lull (from Valencia, Spain), James Minnix (from Richmond, VA), TBA