Cascade Conducting Master Class

Cascade Conducting Masterclass

“…a very challenging business, yet a highly worthwhile and valuable art form, one has to stay true to the music throughout.  Preserving one’s own talent, faith to the music, and performance integrity while navigating a successful path forward is imperative, so that great symphonic music can live on and not only be cherished by generations to come, but function as a relevant and effective platform for peace, expression, and understanding of our world.” ~Sarah Ioannides


The Third Annual Cascade Conducting Master Class and First Annual Cascade Composer’s Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University will take place from June 14th to 21st, 2020. Symphony Tacoma conductor and music director Sarah Ioannides will lead 21 hours of quality instructional podium time featuring principal musicians from Symphony Tacoma.  There will be a concert for the 15 chosen full participants on the evening of Saturday the 20th in beautiful Lagerquist Hall at Pacific Lutheran University.  The concert will be professionally recorded and this recording will be made available to participants.  In addition, six conductors will be chosen to conduct the original works composed for the Cascade Composer’s Workshop by its participants in a public reading/concert on Sunday, June 21st.

Ioannides will also lead score analysis and baton technique sessions.  Special guest speakers who possess experience working with conductors in a professional setting will share their insight into a variety of responsibilities unique to the conducting profession.


The masterclass will include round-table discussions with Sarah Ioannides and guest speakers about the realities of working as a professional conductor including rehearsal technique, business and media aspects, and navigating the application/audition process for professional conducting positions.

The first annual composer’s workshop, in collaboration with Symphony Tacoma, will be led by Symphony Tacoma composer in residence David Ludwig.  The Workshop will take place June 17th-21st, 2020.  Six composers age 35 or younger will be chosen to write, under the guidance of Dr. Ludwig, a piece to be performed by the Cascade Conducting Orchestra in a concert in Lagerquist Hall on Sunday the 21st of June.  The Workshop will also be accepting auditors (no age restriction).Visit the Cascade Composer’s Symposium page for more information.


Conducting Masterclass Tuition

Full Participants- $1650 ~  Full participants receive 1.5 hours of total podium time, round table sessions and one on one time with Sarah Ioannides, and the opportunity to conduct the Cascade Conducting Orchestra led by 20 principal members of Symphony Tacoma in a final concert at Lagerquist Hall. Each full participant will conduct one movement. The final concert will be professionally recorded.  6 full participants will also be chosen to conduct works written by the participants of the composer’s workshop in a new music reading/concert on Sunday, June 21st.

Auditors- $550 ~  Conducting auditors will receive 10 to 15 minutes of podium time with Sarah Ioannides as well as access to all of the daily score analysis, baton technique and round table Q and A masterclass sessions.

Full participants will receive a $300 discount if selected to  play in the orchestra (instrumental resume required.)  Auditors will receive a $200 discount for playing in the orchestra.

Composer’s Workshop Tuition

Full Participant $600 ~ Full Participants will create an original work for orchestra, no longer than 15 minutes, with guidance from Dr. Ludwig, to be performed in a final public reading/concert by the Cascade Conducting Orchestra in Lagerquist Hall on June 21st.

Auditor $150 ~  Auditor’s will be present for all of the group sessions during the workshop as well as rehearsals and final concert.  No age restrictions for auditors.

Discounted lodging and meals will be available through Pacific Lutheran University.

Scholarships- A full scholarship for one “conducting fellow” will be offered as well as one full scholarship for a Latino conductor provided by the Orquesta Northwest.  Cascade Conducting may also offer a partial scholarship for an outstanding female conductor, and one for a local conductor as well.

Continuing Education at Pacific Lutheran University is also offering 35 OSPI clock hours or 5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to participants who successfully complete the Cascade Conducting Masterclass, for an additional fee of $50. PLU is an accredited provider of OSPI clock hours for courses. A PLU CEU is equivalent to 10 hours of work on a course.  Register for continuing education credits here.

Sarah Ioannides is currently the Music Director of Symphony Tacoma.  A former assistant conductor for the legendary teacher Otto-Werner Mueller, she has conducted orchestras of the highest level from around the world.  Read more about Sarah Ioannides, visit artist’s website,  read a complete resume.

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