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

  • Feb
    20
    Music Now
    • Faculty composer Jon Nelson discusses his work Spinning Silence in the Possible Blue for string quartet
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Feb
    27
    Music Now
    • Faculty composer Andrew May discusses his work Vanishing
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Feb
    27
    Spectrum
    • Sponsored by Composers Forum; featuring a performance of Andrew May's Vanishing, in recognition of his tenure as director of CEMI (2005-2016)
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 8:00pm
  • Mar
    05
    Student Recital
    • Program of works by Eclective
    • 8:00pm
  • Mar
    08
    Music Now
    • Guest ensemble Roomful of Teeth
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am

Recent Division News

  • In the 2015 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.

  • The premiere performance of May 29 - June 9 for string orchestra and string quintet by alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was presented by the Youth Symphony Orchestra "Slobozhanskiy," commissioned and conducted by Eldred Marshall on 20 November 2015 in Kharkov, Ukraine at the Kharkov State Performance Hall.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Landscape Series: 1 by alumnus composer Chaz Underriner (PhD 2016) is one of five works selected (out of 288 submissions from composers in 36 countries) as a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Gaudeamus Award in Composition. His work will receive a performance at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek in September 2017, at which time the award winner will be announced.

  • 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.

  • Alumnus composer Greg Dixon (PhD 2012) received a commission from the Instruments India Composition Commission, sponsored by Liverpool Hope University and Milapfest, Britain’s leading Indian arts development trust. The commission grants Dixon exclusive access to a sound library of traditional Indian instruments that he will use to create new music.

  • Alumnus composer Eli Fieldsteel (MM 2010) has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Composition-Theory at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he will serve as the Director of the Experimental Music Studios and teach courses in electroacoustic composition and engineering.

  • Graduate composer Christopher Poovey will have his piece Dripstone, for baritone saxophone and stereo fixed media,​ performed on 15 October 2016 at the Jayu Theater in the Seoul Arts Center as part of the 2016 Seoul International Computer Music Festival.

  • Doctoral composer Seth Shafer has been selected as one of three finalists in the Lyra Society's Costello Competition for Composition for his solo harp piece Night in Arcturus Stream. As a finalist, Shafer will compose a new work for solo harp with a chance to win a $1000 prize, a world premiere at the Curtis Institute of Music's Field Concert Hall in May 2017, and a publishing contract with Fatrock Ink Music Publishers.