Master's degree in wind conducting / Band graduate assistantships

The University of Akron Bands generally utilizes two full graduate assistantships and one half assistantship (drum-line instructor – application process goes through Dr. Larry Snider;  These assistantships are intended for students pursuing the master’s degree in wind conducting, but are also available for those interested in a master’s degree in music education or performance.

Duties include:

  • Coordinate a five to six-person Student Undergraduate Staff and complete administrative duties in support of the UA Bands as assigned.
  • Perform in a major conducted ensemble in the band area - based on audition - and assist with the University Band as assigned.
  • Conducting (wind conducting majors OR music education majors serving as Band GA) opportunities with the UA Concert Bands (Symphonic, Concert and University Bands) as assigned.
  • Instruction and potential design opportunities with “Ohio’s Pride,” The University of Akron Marching Band and the Blue and Gold Brass basketball pep bands as assigned. 
  • Additional duties may include assisting with the coordination of summer workshops and music camps as well as participation and assistance with the Summer Symphonic Band.
  • Other duties in the UA Bands as assigned.


  • Admission to The University of Akron as a Graduate Music Student in the areas of wind conducting, music education or instrumental performance. 
  • Professional public school teaching is preferred (2 – 3 years), but not required for admission to the program. 
  • Prior marching band experience is also preferred (marching in high school, college and/or drum and bugle corps).

Financial Package:

  • Graduate Assistantships provide 15 hours of tuition remission per semester of study (Fall and Spring) as well as 15 hours per summer, available upon successful completion of the first year.  This is more than sufficient to offset the expense of full-time status and completion of the Master’s Degree.
  • A stipend of $7,000 per year is available for a full-assistantship / $3,500 per year for a half-assistantship. 
  • Graduate students must be enrolled in the Master of Music degree program and attending classes full-time to receive the stipend.
  • Courses during the summer sessions between the first and second years of study are also covered as part of the Graduate Assistantship package.

Application / Audition Procedure (Master’s in Wind Conducting / Band Graduate Assistantship):

  • Applicants to the Master’s Degree in Wind Conducting should contact Dr. Galen S. Karriker at or 330-972-6180 (office) or 330-697-9233 (cell) to arrange for an audition.
  • Auditions will include an on-campus visit and guest conducting/rehearsal and interview process in the middle of the spring semester.
  • NOTE: Wind Conducting Applicants must also submit the following:

    1. A video (DVD) demonstrating at least 15 - 30 minutes of rehearsal and 1 – 2 selections from a performance in the past two years.  You can also email the links of video (Private YouTube or Vimeo - please include password) to
    2. A list of repertoire rehearsed or performed in the past five years – either in undergraduate conducting courses or in previous teaching/conducting positions.

Application Procedure (for Master’s in Performance or Music Education / Band Graduate Assistantship)

Applicants to the Master’s Degree in Wind Conducting and/or M.M. in Performance or Music Education should do the following to begin the application process:

  1. Apply to UA and the College of Graduate Studies
  2. Send a letter of application, including your intended course of study; wind conducting, music education, performance, and the duties for which you qualify.
  3. Send a current copy of your resume/vitae.

Send all documents to:

Dr. Galen S. Karriker
Director of Bands
The University of Akron
Akron, OH 44325-1002

About UA

The University of Akron is a major metropolitan teaching and research institution of 28,000 students.  It is located thirty miles south of Cleveland in a metropolitan area that supports a symphony orchestra and chorus, a youth orchestra, an art museum, chamber ensembles, distinguished area artists, musical theater, community theaters and other cultural organizations.  The University of Akron itself consists of more than 80 buildings on 218 acres.  Since 2000, we have added 22 buildings, completed 18 major additions, acquisitions and renovations, and created 34 acres of green space.

The School of Music has 30 full-time and 45 part-time faculty.  With more than 300 majors, the school offers bachelors and masters degree programs in performance, music education, theory, composition, voice, accompanying, conducting, jazz studies, music history and literature, and music technology.  This energetic and thriving school is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.  See for additional information.