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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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,

  • New Motive Power, a work by undergraduate composer Brandon Maahs, received an Honorable Mention in the Texas A&M University Composition Competition and Symposium, one of the final three from among 46 submissions.

  • Doctoral composer Timothy Harenda has been selected as one of four finalists in the 2016 ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission Competition, for his work Purple Quartz. Winners will be announced at the SEAMUS conference in February.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • An Unaware Cosmos: Module-Set 1 by Joseph Klein was premiered at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, Czech Republic on 21 October 2015. The work was conducted by the composer and performed by students at the Janáček Academy.

  • Elizabeth McNutt performed at the National Flute Association Convention, including a work written for her by her mentor Harvey Sollberger. The Nova Ensemble, directed by Elizabeth McNutt, premiered Unset by faculty composer Andrew May, at Donald Judd's kilometer long masterpiece 15 untitled works in concrete at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX on 1 August 2015.

  • David Stout has co-founded a working group at the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) with ecologist and complexity scientist, Dr. Jennifer Dunn. The Ecological Data Dramatization Art & Science working group will focus on the dramatization of ecological data sets integrating sonification, visualization and immersive staging. The project commences in March 2016 and will bring together the Santa Fe Institute and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) with the University of North Texas and the University of Denver.