History and Description of the Program
In 2003, after a long battle with cancer, beloved KVOD radio host, St. Martin’s singer and assistant conductor and all-around music educator Mark Sheldon passed away. A legacy was established in his memory to be used in part for educational outreach. The Mark Sheldon Conducting Internship was established to fulfill this part of his legacy.
The conducting internship is one of the few, perhaps the only one of its kind in the US. It provides this unique opportunity for college conducting students to conduct a professional choir on an ongoing basis during a concert season. Potential interns go through an application process and the intern is selected by St. Martin’s Artistic Director, Tim Krueger. The intern is expected to attend all rehearsals, assist in rehearsals and conduct when Mr. Krueger is unavailable. Perhaps most unusually, the intern is also assigned at least one piece to conduct in nearly every concert. The intern is warmly welcomed into the St. Martin’s family and builds a rapport with singers and staff, is encouraged to attend St. Martin’s board meetings and serves on the Education and Outreach committee of the board. With all these duties also comes an internship stipend. The expectations are rigorous, but the rewards are immeasurable (see quotes below.)
2020-21 Mark Sheldon Conducting Intern
Drew Ritchie is a versatile and passionate conductor, educator, and performer. Currently earning a Master of Music degree in Conducting at the Lamont School of Music – University of Denver, he also holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He currently serves as an Assistant Conductor for the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestras, a Conducting Intern for the St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, and a teaching assistant at the Lamont School of Music. Drew is thrilled to be a part of the SMCC organization and looks forward to an incredible season filled with beautiful music.
Past conducting interns and their universities
- 2005 – 2006 :: Heather Kohl, University of Denver
- 2006 – 2007 :: Gabrielle Dietrich, University of Colorado
- 2007 – 2008 :: Ace Edewards, University of Denver
- 2008 – 2009 :: Jill Schroeder, University of Denver
- 2009 – 2010 :: Brian Stone, University of Colorado
- 2010 – 2011 :: Adam Kluck, University of Northern Colorado
- 2011 – 2012 :: Hannah Wunsch, University of Colorado
- 2012 – 2013 :: Taylor Martin, University of Denver
- 2013 – 2014 :: Brett Kostrzewski, University of Denver
- 2014 – 2015 :: K. James Howe, University of Colorado, Boulder
- 2015 – 2016 :: Matt Stewart, University of Denver
- 2016 – 2017 :: Ana Spadoni, University of Denver
- 2017 – 2018 :: Michael Johnson, University of Denver
- 2018 – 2019 :: Blake Nawa’a, University of Denver
- 2019-2020 :: Michael Ballard
Quotations from past Mark Sheldon conducting interns
- “Working as the Mark Sheldon Intern was one of the most valuable experiences I had as an aspiring conductor. It was a rare and privileged opportunity to stand in front of an ensemble of professional singers, who were also kind and supportive!” – Jill Schroeder
- “This is a singularly unique opportunity where we as conductors are able to have the high caliber musical experience of a professional choir.” – Brian Stone
- “The Mark Sheldon Internship proved to be a most rewarding educational and artistic experience. Conducting an ensemble of the highest musical caliber, in such a warm and supportive environment, is of infinite value to the young conductor.” – Ace Edwards
The Mark Sheldon conducting internship is ongoing. If you are a conducting graduate student in Colorado, please consider applying for this program. If you are a college choral music professor, or if you know of Colorado conducting students who would be interested, please let them know about this internship.
All inquiries and applications should be directed to St. Martin’s Artistic Director, Tim Krueger.