Summer Conducting Lab Choir

Need a place to sing when your choir is off for the summer?
We have the perfect gig for you.

The Summer Conducting Lab gives conductors-in-training an opportunity to work with a choir in a rehearsal setting, gaining valuable podium time and real-time feedback. During the 2-hour sessions, 3-5 conductors work with the all-volunteer choir, made up of singers from all over the Silicon Valley. Dr. Jeffrey Benson and Kristina Nakagawa provide feedback to the conductors both during the session and afterward in private communication.

What else is great about the Summer Conducting Lab?

No audition.
No practicing.
No cost.
No pressure.
No commitment.

Just show up, sing, and have fun.

Resounding Achord provides music for all participants. About 20 pieces are selected each year that represent different styles, musical eras, and difficulties. About 25-30% of the music changes each year so that there is sufficient variety for returning singers and conductors.  It is a perfect opportunity to practice your sight-reading skills.

Session Dates for 2023

Monday and Wednesday nights, 7:30 – 9:30
July 10, 12, 17, 19, 31, & August 2


All sessions are located at:

St. Francis Episcopal Church
1205 Pine Ave, San José, CA

What do the lab choir singers like best?

“I loved getting to learn more about the insides of conducting!”“Making great music.””I loved being a part of a group of extremely skilled musicians; both the singers and directors!””The feedback given by Dr. Benson and Kristina Nakagawa and their effect on the conductor/choir were eye- (and ear-) opening for me as a singer.”
Click to Register as a Singer or Student Conductor

History of the Conducting Lab

We started the conducting lab in 2014 in conjunction with San Jose State University (SJSU) as part of their Three Summer Master’s Program in Music Education. The summer masters students are music educators, and many are conductors of community or school ensembles. The SJSU program offers advanced conducting instruction as part of its program; however, because the residency is held during the summer, there are no ensembles at SJSU for the students to conduct. Our lab provides a live conducting opportunity for the students.
Each year the program follows a basic framework:

  • There are typically six evening sessions — typically two evening sessions per week for a 3-week period.
  • Conductors sign up for one or more 20–40 minute conducting time slots and arrive prepared to conduct 1–3 pieces.
  • The conductors can either be members of SJSU’s Three Summer Master’s Program, regular-term students at SJSU, or community members who are seeking an opportunity to sharpen their conducting skills.
  • There is no participation fee for conductors or singers, and all music is lent to the conductors and singers free of charge for the program.
  • We invite and welcome singers of any age and any level to be part of the choir. They don’t have to make a commitment to show up for all or even most of the sessions, and singers do not need to practice.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Benson and Kristina Nakagawa give instruction and written feedback to the conductors.
“The Summer Lab Choir partnership between SJSU and Resounding Achord provides a tremendous opportunity for our SJSU Summer Masters students to gain much-needed experience in front of a choir. Thank you to RA for the amazing leadership in our field.” — Dr. Jeffrey Benson, SJSU
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Summer Conducting Lab Choir