Mark Sheldon Conducting Internship

History and Program description

St. Martin’s 2011-2012 Conducting Intern Hannah Wunsch

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.)

2023-24 Mark Sheldon Conducting Intern

Sara Garza (she/her) is a passionate conductor, educator, and vocalist who believes firmly in the necessity of equitable music education for all. Hailing from Lakewood, Colorado, Sara is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Denver, where she is a
Graduate Teaching Assistant for Voces Aureas and the Lamont Chorale. She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she studied voice with Gene Roberts and conducting with MB Krueger.

Prior to her graduate studies, Sara served as both the Vocal Music Director and the Spring Musical Director at Evergreen High School. She currently holds a position on the Colorado ACDA board, where she enjoys coordinating events and connecting with colleagues. Sara has performed with Elus Vocal Ensemble and the Colorado Symphony Chorus, as well as several collegiate ensembles and church choirs – she even enjoyed an undergraduate singer internship with St. Martin’s Chamber Choir in 2018!

In 2022, Sara was honored to receive Evergreen Children Chorale’s Arts Teacher of the Year award, given for her dedication to enrichment and
inspiration of the arts in young people. She plans to return to the high school classroom after obtaining her Masters to continue in her passion for
educating young musicians.

Past Conducting Interns

  • 2022 – 2023 :: Samuel Sherman, University of Denver
  • 2021 – 2022 :: Sheila Melendez, University of Denver
  • 2020 – 2021 :: Drew Ritchie, University of Denver
  • 2019 – 2020  :: Michael Ballard, University of Denver
  • 2018 – 2019 :: Blake Nawa’a, University of Denver
  • 2017 – 2018 :: Michael Johnson, University of Denver
  • 2016 – 2017 :: Ana Spadoni, University of Denver
  • 2015 – 2016 :: Matt Stewart, University of Denver
  • 2014 – 2015 :: K. James Howe, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • 2013 – 2014 :: Brett Kostrzewski, University of Denver
  • 2012 – 2013 :: Taylor Martin, University of Denver
  • 2011 – 2012 :: Hannah Wunsch, University of Colorado
  • 2010 – 2011 :: Adam Kluck, University of Northern Colorado
  • 2009 – 2010 :: Brian Stone, University of Colorado
  • 2008 – 2009 :: Jill Schroeder, University of Denver
  • 2007 – 2008 :: Ace Edewards, University of Denver
  • 2006 – 2007 :: Gabrielle Dietrich, University of Colorado
  • 2005 – 2006 :: Heather Kohl, University of Denver

Future Opportunities

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.