Beyond the Baton Conducting Workshop

General Information
Schedule of Events

  Diane Wittry
Seminar Book   
  "Beyond the Baton"
Norwalk Symphony
Norwalk Concert Hall



Monday, July 12 to Friday, July 17, 2015


The goal of the “Beyond the Baton” Conducting Seminar and Workshop is to provide a forum for preparing conductors for conducting positions with regional orchestras in the United States.  During this seminar, there will be five in-depth sessions on specific chapters of the book “Beyond the Baton” by Diane Wittry.  The areas covered will include: 1) Artistic leadership; 2) Programming; 3) Involvement in the Community; 4) Working with the Board, Staff, and Orchestra; 5) Preparing Press Packets & Auditions.  During the seminar, time will be spent evaluating the participant’s press materials and each person will gain experience developing different types of concert programs. There will also be four conducting sessions where the participants will have the opportunity to prepare a 12 minute video tape conducting the chamber version of Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland which could be used for conducting auditions. (All conducting sessions will be video taped.) Total podium time for each active participant is 30-50 minutes. Participants will also have the opportunity of purchasing professional action photos of their work during the conducting sessions.

Some Conductors will be selected to be "Conducting Fellows" with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra during the 2015-2016 Concert Season.

Required Book:


   "Beyond the Baton – What Every Conductor Needs to Know"        by Diane Wittry

Suggested Book:

  "Orchestral Music, A Handbook" (3rd or 4th edition)               by David Daniels



   Appalachian Spring (Chamber Version)                                        Aaron Copland


Application Fee $40  
Participant Fee $595  
Auditor Fee $275  
Autographed copy of "Beyond the Baton"
$25.00+$5.00 postage (Paperback Edition)

Seminar fees are due upon acceptance to the workshop.  A maximum of four auditors will be accepted.  Seminar fees can be refunded up to four weeks before the first day of the seminar (minus any PayPal fees and a $50 cancelation fee). If it is closer than four weeks, the fees will be refunded only if the withdrawing applicant’s place in the seminar is filled by another Participant/Auditor.

Questions about the seminar should be directed to: (973) 731-3031. Email: Further information can be found at the Beyond the Baton website:


The first 12 qualified applicants to apply will be accepted. Payment of the fee in full will be required to hold a person’s space in the seminar.  A non-refundable $40 application fee must accompany all applications.  Please download the PDF application document and return it with a complete press packet of your work, a video tape or DVD of your conducting, and the application fee check made payable to: Pizazz Music.  Applications should be mailed to: 

Beyond the Baton Seminar
PO Box 1281
Maplewood, NJ 07040

You can also apply on line by filing out the on-line application form and submitting your materials through email links. Payment can be done through paypal on the payment page.


The seminar has six lecture session based upon the book “Beyond the Baton” and four conducting sessions.  For a downloadable version, click here.


The Norwalk Inn and Conference Center
Single and Double rooms are available at approximately: $99.00-$109 + tax. (Reference "Beyond the Baton" for your reservation.) The Pizazz Music office will help to coordinate between participants who are interested in sharing a room during the seminar. The Norwalk Inn has a full service restaurant and a bar, and includes Hi-speed internet and bottled water.  The Inn is located just 2 blocks from the Norwalk City Concert Hall where the sessions of the seminar will take place. It is also less than ½ mile from the train station. The address for the Norwalk Inn is: 99 East Avenue, Norwalk Connecticut, 06851. Phone: (203) 838-2000; Fax: (203) 855-9722.

Hilton Garden Inn Norwalk
Newly constructed in 2001 and upgraded with a multi-million dollar renovation in 2009, the Hilton Garden Inn Norwalk hotel offers world class service, luxury and convenience to business and leisure travelers to Fairfield County, Connecticut. Within walking distance to Merritt 7 Corporate Park, the Towers Building, i-park Norwalk and Glover Avenue, our suburban Norwalk, Connecticut hotel offers easy access to I-95 and Merritt Parkway (Route 15). Featuring 170 well-appointed rooms. 560 Main Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut, USA 06851
Tel: 1-203-523-4000 Fax: 1-203-523-4050


The City of Norwalk, Connecticut, is located off of Interstate I-95, (Exit 16) less than one hour’s drive north of New York City. It is accessible by train from New York on the Metro North, New Haven Line. The closest station to the hotel is the East Norwalk Station. The East Norwalk train station is less than ½ from the Norwalk Concert Hall and the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center.  For people traveling by train, arrangements can be made to transport participants to and from the train station.  If you are traveling by air, the closest airport is the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY, but Norwalk is also assessable by La Guardia and JFK Airports.  There is a Connecticut Limousine service which can transport you directly to the Norwalk Inn.

     – Music Director/Conductor/Author

Internationally respected conductor Diane Wittry is currently the Music Director and Conductor for the Allentown Symphony, PA.   She is in demand as a guest conductor nationally and internationally, and has conducted orchestras in Italy, Japan, Russia, Slovakia, Bosnia, Canada, and Ukraine. American orchestras she has worked with include: The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Milwaukee Symphony, The San Diego Symphony, The Buffalo Philharmonic, The New Jersey Symphony, The Houston Symphony, The Florida Philharmonic, and The Ojai Festivals Chamber Orchestra, among others.

Diane Wittry is also the Artistic Director (USA) of the International Cultural Exchange Program with the Sarajevo Philharmonic in Bosnia, and the Artistic Director of Pizazz Music, a performing ensemble that brings classical music to people in new and different ways.  

Over the years, Diane Wittry has received many honors and awards including feature articles in Newsweek magazine and the New York Times; an Arts Ovation Award from the City of Allentown, Pennsylvania; the Women of Excellence Award in Beaumont, Texas; the national Helen M. Thompson Award from the American Symphony Orchestra League for outstanding artistic leadership; and the prestigious Fiorino Doro Award from the City of Vinci, Italy. She was recently named the 2013 Outstanding Alumnus from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California where she graduated with honors.  Her book, “Beyond the Baton” was released by Oxford University Press in January 2007 and was reprinted in the new paperback edition in 2011.

For more information on Diane Wittry’s work, please visit her website:

SEMINAR BOOK:   BEYOND THE BATON – What Every Conductor Needs to Know

                                       By Diane Wittry

Regular Price:                                    Reduced Price for Seminar:

    $29.00                                                         $25.00


Seasoned conductor Diane Wittry draws a comprehensive roadmap to a successful career in Beyond the Baton. With first-hand understanding of how the role of the conductor has changed across the years, she expertly examines the new set of duties--both on and off of the podium--that now fall upon the shoulders of the music director.

From getting a job to fundraising and educational outreach, Wittry's comprehensive tips and strategies guide students and professional conductors alike through the leadership and organizational skills necessary for success. Numerous real-life examples illustrate vital skills for artistic leadership such as programming subscription, pops, and educational concerts; understanding the budget and the music director's role in funding the artistic vision; and presenting speeches, and radio and televised interviews. In informative conversations with the author, successful conductors Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, and JoAnn Falletta offer tips from personal experience on how music directors can work successfully with orchestras, and what their roles are with the board and the community.


"There is much more to a successful conducting career than merely standing on the podium and making music. Diane Wittry has provided a remarkably thorough and thoughtful guide to this unique profession, one that will be of immense value to every aspiring conductor who hopes to work and flourish in American orchestras."

                  – Henry Fogel, President and CEO, American Symphony Orchestra League


The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra (NSO) was founded in January 1939. A year later, the celebrated Quinto Maganini, a Pulitzer prize winning composer and principal flute for the New York Symphony, began his 26-year tenure as the Orchestra’s Conductor and Music Director. Following Maestro Maganini’s retirement in 1967, Dennis Russell Davis conducted the orchestra from 1969 to 1973, and was succeeded by Gilbert Levine from 1974 to 1980.  The Music Director from 1980 to 2000 was Jesse Levine, who expanded the musical aspirations of the NSO as well as demanded an increasingly rigorous standard of performance from its musicians.

At the opening concert of the 2002-2003 season, Diane Wittry made her debut as Music Director and Conductor of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Wittry brought an enthusiasm for music and a commitment to education and outreach in the community. Wittry's new ideas for collaborating with community groups broadened and expanded the concert experience. With her new leadership, the Norwalk Symphony grew artistically and significantly expanded its outreach. She continues her relationship with the Norwalk Symphony through the Beyond the Baton National Conducting Seminar each year.


The Norwalk Concert Hall is located inside of Norwalk City Hall at 125 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut. The hall seats 1000 people and has the best sound from New York to Boston.  The acoustical shell was designed by Jaffee Holden Accoustics when the hall was remodeled in the 1980.  There is plenty of free parking and the hall is centrally located just off exit 16 of Highway I-95.



Questions about the seminar should be directed to: (973) 731-3031

For more information go to:

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