Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Directors Circle

Jul 17, 2019

This special episode features the renowned choral conductor and author, Dr. Ramona Wis. In this interview, I discuss several key components of leadership with Dr. Wis that she was written about in her popular book, “The Conductor As Leader: Principles of Leadership Applied to Life on the Podium.” 

Topics include:

(03:55) Dr. Wis shares some stories about her professional background as a conductor and educator

(05:50) Dr. Wis discusses how she went about learning principles of leadership, applying them to her life as a music educator, and writing her book

(09:18) Leadership vs. management of ensembles

(16:25) Setting up students for success/approaching discipline in rehearsals

(23:50) Planning for success in music making/student feedback

(27:25) Thoughts on servant leadership for conductors

(31:30) Building relationships 

(38:05) Tactics for building relationships

(43:52) Favorite choral rehearsal tactics 

(45:40) Dr. Wis discusses influential figures in her life

(53:00) Three words that describe a leader of a comprehensive music program 

(54:50) Advice for music educators 

(57:03) Being remembered as a leader for your music program


Dr. Wis’s Website -

Dr. Wis’s profile at North Central College -

Dr. Wis’s book on Amazon -


Dr. Ramona Wis is a Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She conducts the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Women’s Chorale and teaches courses in conducting, music methods, and servant leadership. 

 Dr. Wis’s book, The Conductor as Leader: Principles of Leadership Applied to Life on the Podium has quickly become a leadership classic among conductors and music teachers, as well as those interested in leadership outside the music profession. She has written for The Choral Journal, Music Educators Journal, Teaching Music and the China Europe International Business School Review.     


Dr. Wis has served as President of the American Choral Directors Association in Illinois and on both ACDA and IMEA executive boards. She has sung under Robert Shaw, James Levine and Margaret Hillis, and has conducted and performed in professional, theatrical, community, and academic settings for more than 35 years.