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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Lockjaw, a brass quintet by undergraduate composer Brandon Maahs, was selected to be premiered at the 2015 Vox Novus Festival on 24 October 2015 at Symphony Space in New York City by the Nautilus Brass Quintet.

  • 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.

  • 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,

  • 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.

  • Doctoral composer Timothy Harenda has been selected as one of four finalists in the 2016 ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission Competition, for his work Purple Quartz. Winners will be announced at the SEAMUS conference in February.

  • 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.