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
    • Sponsored by Composers Forum
    • Recital Hall
    • 8:00pm
  • 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

Recent Division News

  • Methodist University (Fayetteville, NC) has bestowed upon UNT alumnus composer Fouad Fakhouri (DMA 2006) the honorary title of Doctor of Humane Letters during their commencement ceremony in December 2014. Dr. Fakhouri presented the commencement address at that event.

  • The Atlantic Coast Conference Band Directors' Association (ACCBDA) has named UNT alumnus Eli Fieldsteel (MM 2010) as the sole recipient of the 2014 James E. Croft Grant for Young and Emerging Composers. The twelve schools that comprise the ACCBDA will hold exclusive performance rights through 2015.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • University of Wisconsin-Green Bay based ensemble "a very small consortium" will be presenting a number of new miniatures including senior composition student Daniel Sabzghabaei's work, Fond Memories of a First Love. The concert takes place on 27 September 2014 at 7:30 pm in Fort Howard Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The concert will also be streamed at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/a-very-small-consortium.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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