chapter  IX
Educing Leadership and Evoking Sound
Choral Conductors as Agents of Change
WithMartin Berger
Pages 15

Choral singing is one of the most popular and populous possibilities in making music, and choral conducting forms part of tertiary education all over the world. However, the training of choral conductors has for a long time exclusively focused on the development of artistic excellence. Conductors are more than ever expected to be ‘agents of change’, contributing toward society in a variety of ways: positively influencing individuals, equipping them to think critically and to motivate them to be collaborative citizens, as well as developing tools to build cultural identity and a more balanced society. The development of leadership skills and identity for choral conducting students is thus a complex notion as conductors are expected to make use of other peoples’ talent, personality, devotion and voice to create music. Few universities include a trans-disciplinary approach to their curriculum: hence, they are unable to provide students with appropriate skills. This chapter summarises research concerning the role of choral conducting as a university subject. By utilising approaches of comparative music education, the chapter explores conducting pedagogy of the past and its progression in the future. It raises the question of how the training of choral conductors at universities may contribute to the pioneering process of music-making in a multi-ethnic society by combining musical excellence, creativity and social justice.