Undergraduate composition majors begin their studies immediately with individual private lessons and weekly attendance at composition seminars. The program aims to build a solid technical and musical foundation while faculty guide each student in exploring his or her unique creative voice. Composition majors also take courses in music history and literature, analysis, counterpoint, and orchestration, as well as participate in ensemble performance. Our students also enroll in a broad range of music technology courses, including courses in film scoring and multi-media performance.
MM and DMA graduate degrees in composition are available. Graduate composers are often commissioned to create works for faculty and local artists and ensembles, and their compositions have won recognition at prestigious international competitions. In addition to private studies with the faculty, majors interact in the weekly graduate composition seminar. Familiarity with current technology is also an essential component of the degree plan. Students also have access to the rich artistic and intellectual resources of a major research university. Graduate assistantships and other financial support are available on a competitive basis.
Student compositions are regularly performed on the Pendulum new music concert series. Students also have opportunities to compose or arrange music for a variety of performing forces, from small chamber groups to faculty-conducted large ensembles. Each year, the College hosts an impressive variety of guest composers and performers. Recent guests have included George Crumb, Leslie Bassett, John Harbison, Joan Tower, Judith Bettina, skin & bones, Michael Dougherty, Roger Reynolds, and many others.
For more information about the Masters and DMA programs in Composition, contact Daniel Kellogg.