Oxford Musical Leadership Programme

For conducting and leadership excellence.

The Oxford Musical Leadership Programme (OMLP) is a year-long choral conducting development course offering a comprehensive teaching programme of conducting masterclasses, rehearsal techniques sessions and leadership training.

Please note that all places for the 2019-20 programme are now full.  We always welcome observers to any of our masterclass days.  To register your interest in observing or for the 2020-21 season, please email victoria@vocesacademy.org


The OMLP is a continued professional-development course that provides a high-quality alternative to the formal university or conservatoire environment.

Voces Academy’s philosophy is centred around the conductor as an inspirational leader, where understanding the needs and potential of the ensemble is paramount to the success of any rehearsal or performance.  Our teaching focuses on enabling ensemble leadership as well as developing conducting techniques, rehearsal methods and score understanding/interpretation.

Conducting masterclasses in gesture and rehearsal techniques develop effective choral direction that expresses articulation, phrasing and physical communication, and allows the singers to feel both free and in great demand.  Building on each conductor’s personal style and strengths, we create an open, critical and inclusive learning environment in the pursuit of excellent musical leadership.

Uniquely characterised by philosophical reflection, communication and inspiration, Voces Academy’s OMLP will help conductors develop tools and strategies to facilitate a fruitful dialogue between singers and conductors and a broad understanding of choral literature.

Teaching staff – Peter Hanke, Victoria Ely


The Voces Academy OMLP is designed for musicians with a deep interest in choral ensemble work and desire to develop advanced conducting and leadership skills.

We invite applications from:

  • experienced conductors who wish to develop their leadership and technical skills further
  • experienced musicians who wish to make their first steps into conducting

Essential criteria for applicants:

  • choral singing experience
  • high-level instrumental or vocal skills
  • high-level of musicianship and reading music ability
  • is currently undertaking or about to commence regular ensemble conducting work
  • committed to a period of self-reflection in a positive learning environment


The OMLP is a 12-month programme consisting of approximately 12-15 full-day sessions throughout the year.  Up to 8 conductors will be admitted on the course at any time and will experience a structured learning programme delivered through conducting masterclasses, rehearsals with partnership choirs and leadership workshops.

Throughout the course we have four overall learning goals:

  • Building a solid technical ability
  • Growing effective rehearsal techniques to achieve progression and engagement
  • Developing a relationship with your ensemble
  • Fostering effective verbal and non-verbal communication

Our partnership choirs are:

  • Evoke (London)
  • Choir of Somerville College (Oxford)

Throughout the year the OMLP will include a broad range of a cappella music, drawing material from all major periods, styles and genres of choral music.  Participants will also have the option to include repertoire from their own praxis to ensure learning is directly relevant to current work.


The teaching programme will consist of three different teaching elements:

Masterclasses – half- and full-day teaching sessions with participants forming the singing ensemble;
Choir Workshops – masterclass sessions with partnership choirs, providing the opportunity to rehearse and conduct high-level chamber choirs
Leadership Workshops – conductors form the singing ensemble for the Voces Academy executive leadership programme, exploring inspirational leadership from different perspectives.  For more information about Voces Academy Leadership Workshops, please click here.

Leadership workshops are half-day, afternoon/evening events and are combined with a masterclass in the first part of the day to create a full contact day.

A schedule of set dates will be published at the start of the year.  In addition, conductors will be offered a number of flexible date options for leadership workshop days throughout the year.  Due to the nature of the leadership workshop bookings, we are unable to set these dates in advance but will endeavour to provide as much notice as possible.

Participants are expected to attend as many of the set dates as possible and a minimum of two flexible dates.  There is also an open invitation to attend as many leadership workshop days as desired.

OMLP SET DATES 2019-2020

Autumn Term
Sat 21st Sept Masterclass 10.00-17.00
Sat 12th Oct Masterclass 10.00-17.00
1st Nov (eve) -3rd Nov Scandinavian Music Weekend (London)
Tues 19th Nov Masterclass/Workshop 10.30-18.45
Sat 30th Nov Masterclass 10.00-17.00
Spring Term
Sat 18th Jan Masterclass 10.00-17.00
Sat 15th Feb Masterclass (Bach, St John Passion) 10.00-17.00
Sat 14th Mar Masterclass 10.00-17.00
Summer Term
Sat 25th April Masterclass 10.00-17.00
Tues 19th May Masterclass/Workshop 10.30-18.45
Sat 6th June Masterclass 10.00-17.00
Sat 20th June Assessment with choir 10.00-18.00

*Times may be subject to change


All OMLP sessions will take place in Oxford, within our network of collaborative partnerships with chapels and churches including Balliol College, University Church, Exeter College, Somerville College and the Church of St Mary Magdalen.


Course fees are £945 for the full year, payable in instalments throughout the year as follows:

Booking & Deposit Fee
Due at time of application £150
Autumn Term
Due 31st Aug 2019 £265
Spring Term
Due 13th Jan 2020 £265
Summer Term
Due 6th April 2020 £265
Total £945


Please complete the application form.

Conductors are asked to send to their current CV and submit a Youtube link (or similar) of a recent performance or rehearsal.  Video should be recorded from in front of the conductor and clearly show their conducting technique.  Video files sent by file transfer services and requiring download will not be accepted.

New applications can be received at any time throughout the year for commencement in the next term, provided there is a place available.  We are currently receiving applications for conductors wishing to commence in the Autumn term 2019.


At the conclusion of the year-long programme conductors will be provided with an appraisal of their development, including feedback on achievements, strengths and potential areas of future development.  Special guest conductor, Neil Ferris (Chorus Director, BBC Symphony Chorus and Artistic Director, Sonoro) will be engaged to offer a specialist opinion.  The appraisal will include:

  • Observed choral rehearsal
  • Public performance
  • Leadership reflections – in the form of a diary that is kept throughout the year with reflections on personal experiences throughout the year

Each participant will be presented with a signed Voces Academy certificate upon completion of the OMLP.

For any queries, please contact Victoria Ely