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

  • Apr
    Music Now
    • Lecture-performance by doctoral composer Seth Shafer
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Apr
    • Sponsored by Composers Forum
    • 8:00pm
  • Apr
    Reading Session
    • UNT Concert Orchestra readings
    • 12:00pm
  • Apr
    Student Recital
    • Graduate student Miguel Espinel's master's thesis recital
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 5:00pm
  • Apr
    Student Recital
    • Performance of Forgotten Lyres by doctoral composer Timothy Harenda
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 5:00pm

Recent Division News

  • 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 Sam Melnick was selected as winner in the Third Coast Trombone Retreat's first Call For Scores Competition. Fanfare for Many Cars Stuck in Way Too Much Traffic on a Two Lane Highway was premiered in Montague, Michigan on 21 June 2015 by the Anthony P. Hopkins Memorial Trombone Choir.

  • 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.

  • A recording of An Unaware Cosmos, a modular cycle of mixed chamber works by faculty composer Joseph Klein was published in the January issue of ink&coda, an online journal of prose and music.

  • 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.

  • Composition/flute faculty member Elizabeth McNutt recently performed contemporary compositions at the National Flute Association Convention in San Diego, CA on 11-14 August 2016. She performed solo and ensemble pieces on the John Fonville Tribute concert, performed short commissioned works for flute and piano, and performed in an "all-star" flute choir for a Katherine Hoover surprise event.

  • Undergraduate Composer Sam Mikulewicz's work Himawari was selected for performance at the April 2016 Sound Of Dragon Chinese Music Festival in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Sam was one of ten composers selected among entries from twelve countries, and the only American composer whose work was selected for performance.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.