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FAQ

I am a choral conductor but I don’t have access to an orchestra. Should I even bother to audition?

Absolutely! Most selected conductors either come from an exclusive background of either choral or orchestral conducting. While some aspects of the craft differ between the two disciplines, the key skills of leading an ensemble are true regardless of the type. Your video footage should demonstrate those skills in both rehearsal and concert settings. 

Do I have to use a baton?

Participating conductors are expected to use a baton. If you are primarily a choral conductor, demonstrating proper baton usage in your video is most helpful. 

How do I apply for financial aid?

Once all applications have been reviewed, the selected conductors will be notified and at that point offered the chance to apply for need-based aid. Awards are based on the overall financial picture of the candidate as portrayed on the scholarship application. 

If I’m chosen, do I need to be there for the entire time?

Participating conductors do need to attend for the entire class, as well as auditors wishing to take the class for transferable university credit. 

If I’m not selected, why should I consider attending as an auditor?

Annually, we receive far more applications than we have spots available, meaning that a number of highly qualified conductors who would enjoy and benefit from the experience are left out. Auditors, however, are fully engaged in the class experience short of receiving podium time. They also are not required to attend for the entire class, allowing for custom-made itineraries that may better fit your schedule and budget. 

Other than the obvious pleasure of studying Bach for two to three weeks, why should I consider coming to the Oregon Bach Festival?

There are a number of great festivals across the country and many conducting classes, but OBF benefits from a sense of community that started with Maestro Rilling’s first master class in 1970. Class members support one another and enjoy getting to know not only each other but the diverse collection of musicians in the chorus and orchestra who gather from all over the US and the globe. OBF is simply a great deal of fun, which would explain why so many people come back year after year.