​​JULY 31 – AUGUST 5, 2017

The Pacific Northwest Conducting Institute  held on beautiful Whidbey Island provides a unique opportunity and experience for music educators, student conductors, as well as seasoned professionals. The six day workshop, sponsored by Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island and Music Director Anna Edwards, will feature generous amounts of podium time for Active Conductor participants, networking events, and special topic discussion sessions geared toward the “business” of conducting. Housing provided for Active participants and a limited number of scholarships are available. 


  • Score study sessions
  • Sessions on rehearsal and gesture technique
  • Conducting sessions with string quartet and piano
  • Conducting sessions with the Saratoga Festival Orchestra
  • A dress rehearsal and final concert performance for Conducting Fellows
  • Special Topic seminars on the business of conducting
  • Video and audio recording of podium time
  • Headshot and photo shoot (optional for add’l fee)


Deadline Extentions
May 10, 2017 – Deadline for Receipt of Application AUDITORS
July 1, 2017

May 15, 2017 – Notification of Acceptance via email
June 1, 2017 – $500 non-refundable holding deposit
June 15, 2017 – Balance of Full Payment Due


Dvořák Symphony No. 9, Op. 95
Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 5, Op.64
Wittry – Mist*
*Scores available for purchase from Theo. Presser Publisher

Audio: HERE



Internationally acclaimed conductor, DIANE WITTRY, maintains a dual career as a music director and guest conductor throughout the world. Recently named as one of the “Top 30 Professional Musicians” by Musical America (Dec 2015),  Diane Wittry has conducted orchestras in 10 countries in Europe and Asia, as well as her regularly scheduled concerts with her orchestras in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Diane Wittry is currently the Music Director and Conductor of the Allentown Symphony, PA, and the Ridgewood Symphony, NJ.  She also serves as the Artistic Director (USA) for the International Cultural Exchange Program with the Sarajevo Philharmonic (Bosnia).

Diane Wittry, has taught International conducting courses and workshops in Bulgaria and Ukraine, as well as the New York Conducting Institute, the International Conductor’s Institute, the South Carolina Conductor’s Institute, and the Beyond the Baton Conducting Seminars and Workshops. An avid supporter of young conductors and conductor training, Wittry is a member of the National mentoring committee of the Conductor’s Guild.

An award winning author and scholar, her book, “Beyond the Baton“, (Oxford University Press, 2007) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and has become a standard, both nationally and internationally, in the field. Her most recent book “Baton Basics – Communicating Music Through Gestures” (Oxford University Press, Dec. 2014) is being utilized by conducting classes across the country.

Wittry has been a guest lecturer at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music, as well as other Universities and Colleges, and she is a frequent guest speaker at national conferences such as the League of American Orchestras and the Conductor’s Guild.

Diane Wittry is also an established composer and her music is published by Theodore Presser.

More information about Diane Wittry is available at her website:


Anna Edwards marks her third season as Music Director and Conductor of the Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island. Holding several positions as an artist/teacher in the Seattle area, Anna additionally serves as conductor, founder, and music director of the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, and is the music director at Roosevelt High School in Seattle. Her performing groups have been recognized at the local, state and national levels. In 2014, Anna received 1st place for conducting in The American Prize community orchestra division and the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra received 2nd place in The American Prize community orchestra performance division, a national competition for conductors and musical ensembles. Anna received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in conducting at the University of Washington and previously studied conducting at the prestigious Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.


Up to 12 Conducting Fellows will be chosen to conduct portions of the final concert. 

  • 60 minutes podium time with full orchestra
  • 50 minutes podium time with string quartet & piano 

Up to 8 Conducting Associates will be chosen for the workshop

  • 30 minutes minimum of podium time depending on the number of accepted applicants

$2500 Active Conducting Fellow*
$1500 Active Conducting Associate*
$500 Auditor 
$50 Day Observer rate
$50 Non-refundable application fee

*Housing will be provided in private stay homes for Conducting Fellows and Associates. 

Travel and meals will be the responsibility for all participants.

No car? No problem! Limited island transportation to sponsored PNWCI events will be provided by volunteers for those with no vehicle.

​Active Conductors (Fellows and Associates) should arrive by noon on Whidbey Island the morning of Monday, July 31 and depart following the final concert. Accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis for those needing to arrive on July 30 or depart August 6.

***Active participants will be considered for Conducting Fellowship positions with the Saratoga Orchestra for the 2017-2018 season***
Auditors will be invited to observe all podium sessions and participate in all score study sessions and special topic sessions. Auditing is an excellent way to study the scores and learn from the faculty and from your colleagues. Auditors will be responsible for their own housing arrangements.

Day Observers are invited to observe all podium sessions held on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Day Observer rate is $50/day or $25/session and can be paid at the workshop.

All conducting sessions will be videotaped. Please bring a thumbdrive or SD card for rehearsal sessions.
​The final performance will be professionally videotaped with audio. ​​



​The Saratoga Festival Orchestra is comprised of some of the finest musicians from Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, including members of the Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island.


Monday July 31
2:00 – 3:00pm    Introductions, Overview and Score Chat
3:00 – 5:30pm    Conducting Warm-up with piano
5:30 – 7:00pm    Dinner Break
7:00 – 8:30pm    Special Topic: Score Analysis & Rehearsal Techniques/Pre-concert lectures/Public Speaking
Tuesday August 1
9:00 – 11:30am    Rehearsal with piano and string quartet (Fellows)
11:30 – 1:00pm    Lunch Break
1:00 – 3:30pm      Rehearsal with piano and string quartet (Fellows)
4:00 – 5:30pm      Special session for Associates (with piano only)
5:30 – 7:00pm      Dinner Break
7:00 – 9:00pm      Special Topic: Podium expectations (Gesture, Dress, and Leadership)
Wednesday August 2
9:00 – 11:30am    Rehearsal with piano and string quartet (Fellows)
11:30 – 1:00pm    Lunch Break
1:00 – 3:30pm      Rehearsal with piano and string quartet (Fellows)
4:00 – 5:30pm      Special session for Associates (with piano only)
5:30 – 7:00pm      Dinner Break
7:00 – 8:30pm      Special Topic: Leadership Seminar
Thursday  August 3
9:00 – 11:30am     Rehearsal with orchestra (Fellows & Associates)
11:30 – 1:00pm     Lunch Break
1:00 – 3:30pm       Rehearsal with orchestra (Fellows & Associates)
4:00 – 5:30pm       Rehearsal discussion/ Q&A
5:30 – 7:00pm       Dinner Break
7:00 – 8:30pm       Special Topic: Programming – Educational/Pops/Community
Friday  August 4
9:00 – 11:30am     Rehearsal with orchestra (Fellows & Associates)
11:30 – 1:00pm     Lunch Break
1:00 – 3:30pm       Rehearsal with orchestra (Fellows & Associates)
4:00 – 5:30pm       Special Topic:  Working with composers / Rehearsal discussion / Q&A
​5:30 – 7:00pm       Dinner Break
Saturday  August 5
10:00a – 12:30p     Dress Rehearsal with orchestra (Conducting Fellows)
12:30 – 2:00pm      Lunch Break
2:00 – 4:30pm        Concert (Conducting Fellows)
*Schedule and discussion topics subject to change

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