0 Book of sheet music resting on stand during Houghton Choir performance.

Houghton Student Participates in Conducting Masterclass

January 8, 2024

On Dec. 1, Lydia Rech ’24 participated in a conducting masterclass hosted by the New York chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

At the masterclass, Rech had the opportunity to conduct Mozart’s “Lacrimosa” with the Roberts Chorale.

“The masterclass was an incredible experience. I was simultaneously thrilled and terrified as I sat in the conference room, waiting for the class to begin.”

Lydia Rech ’24


Dr. Daniel Black, Associate Professor of Vocal Music and Conducting, nominated Rech to the members of the ACDA who were planning the masterclass.

“I have known Lydia since she was a first-year student in Fall 2020,” says Black, “Since that time, she has taken on the work of our Music Education major with curiosity, poise, and an insatiable love of learning … It was a pleasure for me to nominate her for this masterclass.”

To help Rech prepare for her piece, Black gave her extra lessons outside of class to polish her conducting and prepare her for what the format might be like. Also assisting Rech was Professor of Instrumental Music and Conducting, Dr. Timothy McGarvey, who helped her understand the history of the scores themselves and the gestures that she would need to communicate what she was seeing in the music.

Reflecting on the masterclass as a whole, Rech says that “it can be intimidating on the front end, but one thing my professors encouraged me with and I would certainly pass onto others is … Enjoy the moment and getting to do something you love … God has given you these gifts, and He will certainly use you, by His grace, to glorify Himself and to help you grow.”

Learn more about Houghton University’s Greatbatch School of Music.