The NEC Wind Ensemble Conducting major is a comprehensive program designed to educate the whole student as a conductor of all instrumental music. Students in this program work in music ranging from the Baroque to new music, orchestra to opera to wind ensemble music.

Private studio lessons with Charles Peltz are the foundation of the work. These lessons place heavy emphasis on deep analysis to inspire the student to find ideas in the music. Then, conducting technique is refined to help express what the composer has to say with economical and expressive gestures.

Students are assured frequent podium time in front of incredible NEC musicans in class situations, reading sessions, and in rehearsal and performance with the NEC Wind Ensemble or NEC Symphonic Winds. Every student conducts on an annual December recital as well as other Jordan Hall performances in their second year.

Alumni of the Wind Ensemble Conducting program

Jayce Ogren, MM '03 – Fulbright with Jorma Panula; assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra; music director of New York City Opera; guest conducting with the Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Ching Lai, MM '02 – conductor of the SUNY Potsdam Crane School of Music Orchestra

Brian Walden, MM '03 – former commander of the US Navy Band Washington and head of all Navy Music; director of bands at Marshall University

Thanapol Setabrahmana, MM '11 – 2nd place American Prize in conducting; Mahidol University Director of Wind Ensembles; guest conductor of professional orchestras in Thailand

Jeffrey Means, MM '08 – music director of Sonic Ensemble in Boston; Winner of 2012 Boston Globe “Best New Music Performance”

Holly Choe, MM '17 – will be graduating to continue studies with Johannes Schlaefli in Zurich

photo by Andrew Hurlbut