About the Program

The composition program at the University of North Texas is one of the largest and most diverse in the nation, with approximately 70 composition students and seven faculty members representing a variety of compositional aesthetics and approaches. Regular guest composer residencies, visiting new music specialists, and dozens of events each year provide students with a rich educational and artistic experience.

An interdisciplinary center within UNT’s Division of Composition Studies, the Center for Experimental Music & Intermedia (CEMI) provides a unique environment for the exploration of time-based arts and is internationally renowned for its long history of innovation, particularly in the realm of electroacoustic music. Students, faculty, guests, and collaborators from a variety of disciplines engage in research, creation, and performance in CEMI’s six production studios and the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater.

Music Now is the weekly composition departmental meeting, an open forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the creation, performance, and understanding of recent music. These forums, which are typically scheduled Mondays at 11:00-11:50 am, feature presentations by UNT faculty and students as well as visiting composers, scholars, and interpreters of new music.

Nova is the new music ensemble of the University of North Texas. In keeping with its mission to present a diversity of musical, aesthetic, and cultural experiences, Nova’s repertoire ranges from 20th century classics to works that incorporate the latest musical innovations. Students in the ensemble have opportunities to work with faculty and guest composers and are occasionally joined by faculty and guest performers. Performances and workshops have included music by composition students as well.

The Spectrum concert series features new solo and chamber works for instruments and voices, often utilizing new technologies and intermedia. These programs are presented throughout the fall and spring semesters, and are listed in the calendar section of this website.

The Composers Forum is a student organization devoted to coordinating performances and bringing new works to public attention. The organization was formed to foster the spirit of collaboration between composers, performers, and artists of all kinds throughout the UNT community.

The Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts (iARTA) is an interdisciplinary research cluster represented by faculty from across a wide spectrum of the arts, engineering and sciences. iARTA activities include scholarship, creative research and technical development at the leading edges of emergent media practice; the resulting research areas are represented by diverse forms such as telematic performance, immersive installation, robotic sculpture, mobile networks, and art-science collaboration. The cluster also publishes the MOEBIUS Journal, which explores the intersection of theory and practice in electronic arts.

2015-16 Guest Artists

Upcoming Events

  • Feb
    15
    Spectrum
    • Sponsored by Composers Forum
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 8:00pm
  • Feb
    19
    Music Now
    • Playwright Doug Wright
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Feb
    29
    Music Now
    • UMS n’ JIP (Ulrike Mayer-Spohn and Javier Hagen), Recorder/Voice Duo
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Mar
    09
    Music Now
    • Guest artists Kyle Hutchins and Ted Moore: "Binary Canary: Avant Impro for Laptop and Saxophone"
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Mar
    21
    Music Now
    • Panel Discussion: Career Services for Composers
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am

Recent Division News

  • Lockjaw, a brass quintet by undergraduate composer Brandon Maahs, was selected to be premiered at the 2015 Vox Novus Festival on 24 October 2015 at Symphony Space in New York City by the Nautilus Brass Quintet.

  • Alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was one of four composers selected by the choral ensemble Magpies and Ravens for their LINEAGE program. Daniel will receive mentoring from composer Paul Rudoi and the ensemble, culminating in two performances of his work Delbaré for SATB a cappella choir on 12-13 March 2016 in Minneapolis, MN.

  • Seven UNT-affiliated composers were selected to participate in the SEAMUS 2016 Conference at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA, 11-13 February 2016: faculty composer Andrew May; student composer Timothy Harenda; and alumni composers Elainie Lillios, Chapman Welch, David Gedosh,

  • A recording of An Unaware Cosmos, a modular cycle of mixed chamber works by faculty composer Joseph Klein was published in the January issue of ink&coda, an online journal of prose and music.

  • Doctoral composer Seth Shafer has been invited to present his paper "Temporal Models in Live-Generative Music Notation" at the second New Music Conference and Festival (NUNC! 2) in November 2015 at the Bienen School of Music on the campus of Northwestern University.

  • The premiere performance of May 29 - June 9 for string orchestra and string quintet by alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was presented by the Youth Symphony Orchestra "Slobozhanskiy," commissioned and conducted by Eldred Marshall on 20 November 2015 in Kharkov, Ukraine at the Kharkov State Performance Hall.

  • Pittsburgh-based ensemble-in-residence of Heinz Chapel, OvreArts, performed alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei's wind trio Upon Viewing a Family In Mourning on 21 January 2016 in the Heinz Chapel.

  • Elizabeth McNutt performed four works, including two by UNT faculty, at the International Computer Music Conference, hosted by UNT. She recently received a grant from the Earle Brown Music Foundation, in support of her series Sounds Modern, for upcoming performances in Dallas and Fort Worth (2016 and 2017). Her recent collaborations include premieres by Andrew May and local composer Sungji Hong.

  • Alumnus composer Sam Melnick was selected as winner in the Third Coast Trombone Retreat's first Call For Scores Competition. Fanfare for Many Cars Stuck in Way Too Much Traffic on a Two Lane Highway was premiered in Montague, Michigan on 21 June 2015 by the Anthony P. Hopkins Memorial Trombone Choir.

  • Undergraduate Composer Sam Mikulewicz's work Himawari was selected for performance at the April 2016 Sound Of Dragon Chinese Music Festival in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Sam was one of ten composers selected among entries from twelve countries, and the only American composer whose work was selected for performance.