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

  • Mar
    29
    Music Now
    • Presentation by doctoral composer Ermir Bejo
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Mar
    29
    Faculty Recital
    • Calliope Duo: Elizabeth McNutt, faculty; Shannon Wettstein, guest artist
    • 6:30pm
  • Mar
    30
    Student Evaluation
    • Graduate Review (MA)
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 12:30pm
  • Apr
    03
    Music Now
    • Guest composer Harvey Sollberger
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Apr
    03
    Nova Ensemble
    • Contemporary chamber reportoire
    • 8:00pm

Recent Division News

  • Glint for solo tenor trombone by alumna Lisa Bost-Sandberg (DMA in flute performance, 2014; related field in composition) won the 2016 American Trombone Workshop Composition Competition and was performed at the Workshop in Arlington, Virginia, on 12 March 2016.

  • 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.

  • 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,

  • Doctoral composer Michael Smith has been selected as a finalist in the 2017 ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Composer Commission Competition for his work Ictus.

  • Doctoral composer Zach Thomas's composition efflux was selected from among more than 1100 submissions for performance at the Mise-En Music Festival 2017 in New York City, 20-25 June 2017.

  • 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.

  • Eight UNT-affiliated composers were selected to participate in the SEAMUS 2017 Conference at St. Cloud State University in St.

  • Graduate composer Bihe Wen's work Ancient Reunion was one of three prizewinners in the Radiophonic Composition/Sound Art category of Leibnizharmonies Composition Competition 2016. Prize winners were awarded by the Mayor of Hannover in Herrenhausen Gardens on 30 June 2016.

  • Graduate composer Bihe Wen's composition Regression was selected as a finalist in MÉTAMORPHOSES 2016. The program will take place on 19 October 2016, during the international festival "L'ESPACE DU SON" in Brussels, Belgium.

  • Alumnus composer Chaz Underriner (PhD 2016) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Digital Arts at Stetson University, beginning in the fall of 2017.