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.

2014-15 Guest Artists

Upcoming Events

  • Oct
    22
    Music Now
    • Guest pianist Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Oct
    24
    Faculty Recital
    • Music of faculty composer Kirsten Broberg
    • 8:00pm
  • Oct
    26
    Student Recital
    • Eric Evans Master's Thesis Performance (in Goolsby Chapel)
    • 9:00pm
  • Oct
    27
    Music Now
    • Colloquium — sponsored by Composers Forum
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Nov
    03
    Music Now
    • Claudia Howard Queen: Composer/Choreographer Collaborations
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am

Recent Division News

  • Cantus Curatio VI (Healing Melody VI) for cello solo and EGO for bass trombone and piano by alumna composer Da Jeong Choi (PhD 2011) were presented at the 19th Sydney Biennale titled "On Reason and Emotion" (21 March - 9 June 2014 in Sydney, Australia), which featured the work of 51 artists from 32 countries.

  • Panayiotis Kokoras has been commissioned by Festival Mixtur to compose a piece for clarinet, piano, violin and cello. Ensemble Taller Sonoro will perform the piece on 25 April 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. Panayiotis will also coach a student’s composition workshop and give a short presentation on his piece.

  • Oregon State Parks selected Alumna composer Christina Rusnak (MA 2010) to compose a work for the new Cottonwood Canyon State Park. Canyon Voices explores the natural and cultural heritage of the John Day River basin. In August 2014, The Life of Ashes, exploring Mt. Adams through the lens of wildfire, was premiered in Hood River Oregon commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

  • Alumnus composer Jay Alan Walls (PhD 2011) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music at Harding University (Searcy, AR) beginning in the fall of 2014.

  • Senior composition student Daniel Sabzghabaei received second prize in the 2014 Texas Young Composers Festival Composition Contest with his piece Hal: Chahargah for solo violin. It will be premiered by distinguished violinist Mary Reynolds with the acclaimed, Dallas-based new music ensemble Voices of Change on Sunday 4 May 2014 at 5:00 pm in the SMU Owen Arts Center (Dallas, TX).

  • Faculty composer Panayiotis Kokoras and alumnus Joshua Harris (PhD 2013) were two of the nineteen composers selected for the juried recording project, SEAMUS Electroacoustic Miniatures 2013: Negative Space.

  • Jamesy Boy, a film with an original soundtrack by alumnus Jermaine Stegall (MM 2003), opens in select theaters nationwide 17 January 2014. Jermaine's other recent credits include the Emmy-winning TV series documentary Ten Days That Unexpectedly Changed America (Shay’s Rebellion: America’s First Civil War), and additional music for Scream 4 (directed by Wes Craven), An American Carol (directed by David Zucker), CW Television Network’s Supernatural, and the Nickelodeon TV movie The Last Day of Summer.

  • Alumnus Jon Anderson's electroacoustic work for fixed media, dash.em, was selected for performance at the regional Society of Composers Inc. Conference hosted by Clarke University. His work for fixed media and video luft am morgen, was selected for performance at the 2013 New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival at the Graduate Center at CUNY. Both works were also invited for performance at the 2013 Electronic Music Midwest Mini-Festival, part of the New Sounds Festival 2013 hosted by Western Michigan University.

  • Improbable Encounters, a collection of works by faculty composer Joseph Klein, will be released on the innova label on 28 January 2014. The 2-disc album (CD and DVD) includes solo, chamber, and intermedia works composed over the past 30 years, and features performances by UNT faculty members Elizabeth McNutt, Eric Nestler, Christopher Deane, and Felix Olschofka.

  • Systasis, an electroacoustic work by composition alumnus Dave Gedosh (DMA 2009) was selected as a finalist for the Fresh Minds Festival at Texas A & M University. Gedosh's Train Song was selected for the SEAMUS CD Vol 23 and was recently programmed at Last Friday Listening Room at UCSD by Tom Erbe, who is also programming the piece for a performance at Fort Mason in San Francisco as part of the Sweet Thunder Electro-Acoustic Music Festival in April 2014