Choral Scholars & Student Intern Program


The William Baker Choral Foundation is committed to providing hands-on leadership experiences in real-world situations for aspiring choral conductors.  Too often, despite the best efforts of university and conservatory music degree programs, young conductors emerge from their student years with very little practical experience in the areas of artistic decision making, choir personnel motivation, time management in rehearsals, and the countless issues that are a part of the life of a vital arts organization.

To address this, the Choral Foundation offers two areas of continuing education: Choral Scholars and Student Interns.

Student Interns

The Student Intern Program dates back to the early 1990s.  Over two dozen men and women have served as Student Interns for the Choral Foundation.  Many of these gifted artists now serve the choral art in leadership capacities in schools, churches and professional choruses across the nation.

Student Interns are appointed for twelve months from June 1-May 31.  Applicants must be in good standing in a degree program at the masters level or higher, and must be available for weekly rehearsals of their local Summer Singers chorus from June-August, and their local Festival Singers chorus from September-May.  The Student Intern must also be available for weekly consultations with assigned professional staff.

Student Interns participate in chorus member auditions, selection of repertoire and meetings of the conducting staff.  Student Interns conduct ensembles in nearly every rehearsal and performance of the concert season under the personal supervision and instruction of Dr. Baker and his professional staff.  Podium time includes work with a cappella chorus, chorus accompanied by piano, organ and other solo instruments, and chorus with full orchestra. Student Interns also receive a private conducting lesson twice monthly related to their performance in rehearsals and concerts.

The Student Intern program is designed to provide practical experience in addition to class work at the University or Conservatory.  Credit toward the degree program should not be an expectation of participation, though many schools will offer credit at their discretion through independent study or as a degree elective.  The Choral Foundation will do everything possible to work with the school to the maximum benefit of each student’s progress and development.

Choral Scholars

The Choral Scholars program was established in 2009 in partnership with the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, and is designed specifically for students pursuing a degree in Choral Conducting at the doctoral level.  Responsibilities and opportunities are similar to those of the Student Intern program, but instruction is offered at the doctoral level and is fully integrated into the class work of the Conservatory.  Students are appointed by semester and may be assigned to multiple ensembles of the Choral Foundation.  By approval of the Graduate Dean of the Conservatory and the Advising Professor, applied instruction through the Choral Scholar program will count toward degree fulfillment.  Public performances are applied to required recital credits for degree completion upon approval of the Advising Professor and the Graduate Dean of the Conservatory.

Fees and Cost

There is no cost to the student for participation in the Choral Scholar or Student Intern program, though recital fees required by the university or conservatory of enrollment may apply.  There is also no compensation of any kind paid to the student.


Click here for an application form.

Application Deadline for Student Intern Program: April 1 preceding year of study

Application for Choral Scholar Program: June 1 for Fall Semester,  November 1 for Spring Semester, or March 1 for Summery Study.

Application should be printed out, completed and sent by postal mail only to…

Lynn Swanson, Executive Associate Music Director

The William Baker Choral Foundation

5450 Buena Vista Street, Suite 100

Roeland Park, Kansas 66205

Please Include With Your Application….

1.             Application Form

2.             Three Concert Programs or Worship Bulletins of Programs conducted

3.             Two letters each of professional and personal reference

4.             A Brief Statement of Your Goals for the Internship Program (Please limit to one page)

5.             Audio or Video Recording of Recent Conducting Appearances

Applications sent electronically or by fax will not be considered.

Please send copies only of support materials…Materials will NOT be returned.

The William Baker Choral Foundation, Inc., is an equal-opportunity, affirmative action organization.  The Choral Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, or national origin in its membership policies, employment policies or educational opportunities.