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.

2014-15 Guest Artists

Upcoming Events

  • Mar
    30
    Music Now
    • Colloquium — sponsored by Composers Forum
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Apr
    02
    Student Evaluation
    • Comp Graduate Review (Part 2)
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 12:30pm
  • Apr
    02
    Nova Ensemble
    • Nova Ensemble performance at UNT on the Square: works by Schnittke and Crumb
    • 7:00pm
  • Apr
    06
    Music Now
    • Guest composer Chaya Czernowin
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Apr
    07
    Nova Ensemble
    • Contemporary Chamber Repertoire
    • 8:00pm

Recent Division News

  • The Atlantic Coast Conference Band Directors' Association (ACCBDA) has named UNT alumnus Eli Fieldsteel (MM 2010) as the sole recipient of the 2014 James E. Croft Grant for Young and Emerging Composers. The twelve schools that comprise the ACCBDA will hold exclusive performance rights through 2015.

  • Jamesy Boy, a film with an original soundtrack by alumnus Jermaine Stegall (MM 2003), opens in select theaters nationwide 17 January 2014. Jermaine's other recent credits include the Emmy-winning TV series documentary Ten Days That Unexpectedly Changed America (Shay’s Rebellion: America’s First Civil War), and additional music for Scream 4 (directed by Wes Craven), An American Carol (directed by David Zucker), CW Television Network’s Supernatural, and the Nickelodeon TV movie The Last Day of Summer.

  • Cantus Curatio VI (Healing Melody VI) for cello solo and EGO for bass trombone and piano by alumna composer Da Jeong Choi (PhD 2011) were presented at the 19th Sydney Biennale titled "On Reason and Emotion" (21 March - 9 June 2014 in Sydney, Australia), which featured the work of 51 artists from 32 countries.

  • Panayiotis Kokoras’, Kydoimos for orchestra commissioned and premiered by Athens State Orchestra, will be performed during the International Society of Contemporary Music – World Music Festival 2014 (ISCM-WMD) in Wroclaw, Poland.

  • Oregon State Parks selected Alumna composer Christina Rusnak (MA 2010) to compose a work for the new Cottonwood Canyon State Park. Canyon Voices explores the natural and cultural heritage of the John Day River basin. In August 2014, The Life of Ashes, exploring Mt. Adams through the lens of wildfire, was premiered in Hood River Oregon commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

  • Recent composition graduate Joshua Harris (PhD 2013) has accepted a tenure-track position in music at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, where he will be teaching theory, composition, and electronic music, as well as directing the school's music theater productions. He will begin his appointment in the fall of 2014.

  • The Unspoken Geography: FEAR by alumna composer Christina Rusnak (MA 2010) was performed 2 March 2013 at the 12th Annual CSUF New Music Festival: Voice in the 21st Century. On 23 July 2013, Rusnak's Teklanika, a work created in Denali National Park and Yukon Charley National Preserve, was performed at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. Going Rogue for horn trio will be premiered on 18 October 2013, and Adriana for solo flute will be performed on 15 November 2013, both in Portland, Oregon. Ms.

  • Faculty composer Panayiotis Kokoras and alumnus Joshua Harris (PhD 2013) were two of the nineteen composers selected for the juried recording project, SEAMUS Electroacoustic Miniatures 2013: Negative Space.

  • Joseph Klein's interstices, a work for flute, saxophone, and percussion commissioned by saxophonist Gregory Dewhirst and Tarrant County College, will be premiered at the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference at the University of Illinois in March 2014.

  • Senior composition student Daniel Sabzghabaei received second prize in the 2014 Texas Young Composers Festival Composition Contest with his piece Hal: Chahargah for solo violin. It will be premiered by distinguished violinist Mary Reynolds with the acclaimed, Dallas-based new music ensemble Voices of Change on Sunday 4 May 2014 at 5:00 pm in the SMU Owen Arts Center (Dallas, TX).