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.

2016-17 Guest Artists

Upcoming Events

  • Jan
    23
    Music Now
    • The Chairman Rants: Reflections and Unsolicited Advice from an Increasingly Cantankerous Composer
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Jan
    26
    Student Evaluation
    • Senior Recital Hearings, etc.
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 12:30pm
  • Jan
    30
    Music Now
    • Colloquium, sponsored by Composers Forum [tentative]
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Feb
    13
    Music Now
    • UNT Theater Professor Andy Harris discusses collaboration with theater directors [tentative]
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Feb
    20
    Music Now
    • TBA
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am

Recent Division News

  • Undergraduate composer Jennifer Hill was one of ten composers from nearly 200 entrants selected for participation in the Next on Grand: National Composers Intensive, sponsored by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

  • Doctoral composer Ermir Bejo received a 2016 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for his work Opus 4 for solo piano. Ermir was one of 15 recipients from a pool of over 700 submissions for this prestigious award. Composition alumnus Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was also named among the finalists.

  • 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.

  • Alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei was one of three winners of the 2017 POLYPHONOS choral composition competition. Daniel will receive a $1,000 commission for a 5-minute new work that the choral ensemble The Esoterics will premiere at the POLYPHONOS Concert in October of 2017. The winners will also receive funds for travel and lodging to the premiere of their work next year.

  • Undergraduate composer Ryan Ayres received Second Prize in the Voices of Change Young Composers Competition for his work twitch; composition alumnus Blake Turner (BM 2014) received an Honorable Mention for his work Elusive Trails.

  • Doctoral composer Seth Shafer has been invited to present his paper "Temporal Models in Live-Generative Music Notation" at the second New Music Conference and Festival (NUNC! 2) in November 2015 at the Bienen School of Music on the campus of Northwestern University.

  • 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.

  • Stephen Lucas has had an unprecedented streak of album releases over the last several months, resulting in over 20 solo albums under the moniker "Stephen Lucas Live at Brussels." His most successful publication received a positive review from the American rock band Stone Temple Pilots (STP) on major social media outlets. His long-time/distance collaborator/engineer Dairy Tade was recently nominated by the Panini Quartet to be the most successful dairy farmer/engineer in Northwest England.

  • Works by graduate composers Bihe Wen and Michael Smith, as well as alumnus Dave Gedosh (DMA 2009), are among 24 works selected from 289 submissions from around the world for the ARS ELECTRONICA FORUM WALLIS 2016, to be held in Switzerland in May.