Conducting amateur wind bands and symphony orchestras: Differences and adjustments

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


Music Conducting

First Committee Member

Joseph E. Youngblood - Committee Chair


The purposes of this study were to identify in objective terms the conceptual and technical differences between conducting an amateur wind band and conducting an amateur orchestra and to present possible solutions to the problems which may result when encountering these differences. The data for this study were collected through interviews with five conductors, Arnald Gabriel, Frederick Fennell, Harry Begian, John Paynter, and Carl St. Clair. Each was chosen for his expertise in conducting both wind bands and orchestras.The conductors' responses were examined for commonality and contrast and summarized. The information included (a) each conductor's response to the specific questions of the study, namely, the specific differences that are encountered when a conductor alternates between a wind band and an orchestra: weight of sound, resonance, activation of sound, forward momentum, articulation, and balance; and (b) each conductor's suggestions for adjustment to these differences.The conductors participating in the study agreed that differences do exist and adjustments are required in both concepts and technique when alternating between conducting the two types of ensembles. A variety of specific adjustments were reported.


Music; Education, Music

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