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

  • Nov
    Music Now
    • Guest composer Claudia Howard Queen (composer-choreographer collaboration class)
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Dec
    Reading Session
    • 2080, 2180, 2190 students
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 5:00pm
  • Dec
    Student Evaluation
    • Composition Juries, etc.
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 12:30pm
  • Dec
    Reading Session
    • 1180, 1190, 3080, 3090 students
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 9:30am
  • Jan
    Music Now
    • Topic TBA
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am

Recent Division News

  • Senior composition student Daniel Sabzghabaei was recently selected as a finalist in the 2014 SCI/ASCAP Student Commission Competition for his piece Four Short Dreams for chamber ensemble and tape. His piece was selected from a pool of about 200 applicants and represented region 6 (Southern USA) in the final round of selection.

  • On 27 April 2014, Mivos quartet will perform Panayiotis Kokoras' Holophony for string quartet during the Northwestern University New Music Conference (NUNC!) Panayiotis will also give a presentation titled "Ensemble Holophony Project: Perspectives on Instrumental Sound-based Composition."

  • Graduate composer Mary F. Mixter was selected to participate as a composition fellow for the 2014 nief-norf Summer Festival at Furman University in Greenville, SC.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Improbable Encounters, a collection of works by faculty composer Joseph Klein, will be released on the innova label on 28 January 2014. The 2-disc album (CD and DVD) includes solo, chamber, and intermedia works composed over the past 30 years, and features performances by UNT faculty members Elizabeth McNutt, Eric Nestler, Christopher Deane, and Felix Olschofka.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Alumnus composer Jay Alan Walls (PhD 2011) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music at Harding University (Searcy, AR) beginning in the fall of 2014.

  • Every Tear from Their Eyes for choir and large ensemble by alumna composer Da Jeong Choi (PhD 2011) was broadcast on C Channel (TV) for the 100th day of remembrance of the South Korean Ferry Tragedy on 24 July 2014 and included in Kukmin ilbo (Korean newspaper) on 29 July 2014. This work will be performed by Banana Choir (from India) throughout South Korea in November-December 2014.