0 Silhouette of conductor in front of choir during Houghton's Christmas Prism.

Houghton Student Participates in Conducting Masterclass

November 27, 2023

Last October, first-year graduate student of the Greatbatch School of Music Rachael McVeigh ’23, who completed her Bachelor of Music Education last May, participated in a conducting masterclass hosted by the New York chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

At the masterclass, McVeigh had the opportunity to conduct and rehearse the first 36 measures of Robert A. Harrison’s arrangement of “Go down, Moses” with the Ithaca choir.

I found this to be a very worthwhile experience for me, Anytime you get up in front of an audience there is an opportunity to grow in your comfort level as a musician.

Rachael McVeigh ’23


Dr. Daniel Black, Associate Professor of Vocal Music and Conducting, wrote McVeigh’s letter of recommendation for the masterclass.

I have known Rachael since she was a first-year student at Houghton University in fall of 2019. As she progressed through Houghton’s music education program, she demonstrated a commitment to excellence in everything she pursued.

Dr. Daniel Black, Associate Professor of Vocal Music and Conducting


To help McVeigh prepare for her piece, Black gave her personalized attention by extending her conducting lesson times and offering a few additional lessons. He also taught the piece she conducted for her masterclass and gave her a mock masterclass conducting the Houghton Choir.

McVeigh’s experience with Black highlights one of the many ways Houghton’s professors are committed to giving every student the attention they need to excel inside the classroom and out. According to the National Survey for Student Engagement, Houghton ranks 32 percentage points higher than the average at other Christian colleges for excellence in research and collaboration between students and faculty. These collaborations include recent advancements in Alzheimer’s Disease, experiments conducted at the Laboratory of Laser Energetics, and more.

For more information on Houghton’s music programs, check the university’s online list of music majors to discover what excellence in music could look like for you.