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

  • Freshman composition student Brandon Maahs is one of ten selected composers whose works will be performed on the 3rd Annual Texas Young Composers Concert by the Austin Symphony Orchestra at the Long Center for the Performing Arts (Austin, TX) on 3 April 2013.

  • Alumnus composer Greg Dixon (PhD 2012) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music and Sound Design at Digipen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA) beginning in the fall of 2014.

  • Doctoral composition candidate Dan Tramte was recently appointed to a teaching assistant position in the Music Department at Harvard University (spring 2014). He teaches two sections of Music 2: Foundations of Tonal Music, a theory course designed for non-music majors.

  • In March 2014, graduate composer Jim Doyle received second place in Chorus Austin's inaugural Young Composers Competition for his mixed choir piece Self Pity. The competition attracted nearly forty applicants from across the United States, Canada, and Germany.

  • DMA alumnus James Worlton (DMA 2003) has accepted a position as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Texas Woman’s University (Denton, TX), where he will be teaching Theory and Arranging beginning in the fall of 2014.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • Eleven UNT-affiliated composers were selected to participate in the SEAMUS 2013 Conference at McNally Smith College in St. Paul, MN, 18-20 April 2013: faculty composers Panayiotis Kokoras and Jon Christopher Nelson; doctoral composer Mark Oliveiro; alumni composers Jon Anderson, Greg Dixon, Eli Fieldsteel, Dave Gedosh, Elainie Lillios, and L. Scott Price; and former faculty composer Butch Rovan. Also participating in the conference was faculty flutist Elizabeth McNutt.

  • Faculty composer Panayiotis Kokoras received the first prize award in the 7th Destellos International Competition of Electroacoustic Music 2014 in Argentina, for his work Jet for soprano recorder and electronics. Alumna Elainie Lillios (DMA 2000) received second prize in the same competition for her work The Rush of the Brook Stills the Mind for percussion and electronics.

  • Eleven UNT-affiliated composers were selected to participate in the SEAMUS 2014 Conference at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, 27-29 March 2014: faculty composer Jon Nelson; student composers Stephen Lucas, Mark Oliveiro, Clay Allen, and Jen Hill; alumni composers Paul Thomas, Greg Dixon, Eli Fieldsteel, Chapman Welch, and Peter McCulloch; and former faculty composer Butch Rovan.