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

  • Oct
    19
    Music Now
    • Guest composer Balázs Horváth [tentative]
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Nov
    09
    Music Now
    • Guest artists eighth blackbird [tentative]
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Nov
    20
    Music Now
    • Guest composer Ivo Medek
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am

Recent Division News

  • Sophomore composition student Brandon Maahs is one of eight composers selected in the 2013 Dallas Wind Symphony Fanfare Competition. His work, Invictus: Fanfare for Uncommon Heroes, will be performed prior to the DWS program on 4 March 2014 in the lobby of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.

  • Oh My Soul, a choral work by undergraduate composer Ronald Harris, has been selected as a finalist in Chanticleer's Student Composer Competition, and will considered for performance in November 2014 by the Chanticleer Lab Choir.

  • 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 composers Joseph Klein and Panayiotis Kokoras will have works performed at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival in June 2015. Other featured composers include UNT alumni Mikel Kuehn (BM 1989) and Yu-Chung Tseng (MM 1994; DMA 1998), and incoming doctoral composer Jinghong Zhang.

  • 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.

  • Panayiotis Kokoras has been commissioned by Festival Mixtur to compose a piece for clarinet, piano, violin and cello. Ensemble Taller Sonoro will perform the piece on 25 April 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. Panayiotis will also coach a student’s composition workshop and give a short presentation on his piece.

  • Mimesis, a work by doctoral composer Michael Smith, was premiered in Perth, Australia by the Quanta Quartet during their August 2014 Australian tour.​

  • 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.

  • In Spring 2011, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra called on alumnus Robert Pound (BM, '92) as both conductor and composer, inviting him to conduct the ASO and commissioning him to compose a fanfare in honor of Music Director Robert Spano's tenth anniversary with the orchestra. Other recent premieres include his work for cello and piano, goes around, composed for the Murasaki Duo and perfomed by the duo on their Spring 2013 tour.

  • In this year's call for scores by the Los Angeles-based concert series wasteLAnd, three of the four selected composers out of 830 entries were from UNT: Ryan Fellhauer, Timothy Harenda, and Panayiotas Kokoras. A fourth UNT composer, Chaz Underriner, received an honorable mention.