The main study subject HaFaBra-conducting trains you to become a woodwind band, fanfare orchestra or brass band conductor. After graduation you are equipped to put together, rehearse and perform whole programs with (amateur) orchestras of various standards. To be a fully competent conductor you need to be able to play an instrument well yourself. Naturally you also need an exceptionally good ear; you need to be able to distinguish and put together different tone colours, and you must also have an outstanding theoretical and practical knowledge of harmony. During the course you will have secondary lessons in either choir conducting, or on a brass or percussion instrument. Alongside that, you are also involved with light music and work with ensembles from within the conservatorium and various orchestras from outside. As the director of an orchestra you will also play an important role in discussions with the orchestra’s administration in areas such as development, management and finance.
Students sometimes choose HaFaBra-conducting as a second major study combining it with a main instrumental study within the Classical Music department, or the Music Teaching degree. There is also the possibility to complete this study at the same time as working.
Inspirational work environment
As well as your regular lessons as a HaFaBra conducting student, you will regularly take part in workshops give by renowned Dutch and international guest teachers. Guest teachers in the previous years include: David King, Jan van der Roost, Henk Meutgeert, Eugene Migliaro Corporon en Jacob Slagter. These are inspirational experiences from which you can learn a great deal that will be relevant to you in the future; for example for when you are conducting an brass band inside or outside of the conservatorium, or when you are doing work experience with The Koninklijke Militaire Kapel “Johan Willem Friso” or with one the many amateur orchestras in Friesland, Groningen, or Drenthe that the conservatorium has good contact with.
Extremely varied study program
You begin your conservatorium training by acquiring a thorough theoretical and practical base. For a conductor that means amongst other things, the development of your aural capacity in the subjects; general musical theory and practical harmony. Further as conducting student you will become acquainted with light music, learn compositional techniques and extend your ability on your brass or percussion instrument. In short, HaFaBra conducting is an extremely varied study program that will reach you through many different ways; in lectures, practical classes, individual lessons, projects where you work alone or with a group.
Standing before an orchestra
However important the theoretical basis is, it is vital that you gain as much practical experience as possible. Therefore you will take part in work experience/internships throughout your entire degree, for example; with one of the many orchestras in the region, or with the professional, Koninklijke Militaire Kapel “Johan Willem Friso” (Assen). Many students also earn money with conducting during their study. Like we said, there are many brass brands, woodwind bands and fanfare orchestras that want to work with you.