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

  • Composition alumnus Cody Forrest (BM 2010) was a recipient of a 2014 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award. Cody was one of 27 composers selected out of nearly 630 submissions.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.