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Department of Composition

about

A distinguished faculty of internationally known composers empowers students with guidance and encouragement in the search of the student's individual voice and creative goals. Our students achieve at the highest level by creating cutting-edge work that explores a wide range of creative media and styles. Alumni continue our tradition of artistic excellence, holding teaching positions across the globe, performing and composing at the top of the field, and contributing in a meaningful way to a diverse range of communities.

 

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Composers in undergraduate and graduate programs enjoy premiere performances of their work through our recently revamped write HEAR / right NOW concert series, annual participation in the Midwest Composers Symposium (a forum for student composers from four schools), and concerts by University of Michigan ensembles. Students also have access to the incredible technological resources of the School, including the Duderstadt Audio Studio and the brand new Music Technology Lab.

Our composers benefit from the EXCEL Program, which provides entrepreneurship training and career services with the goal of enabling all students to forge a viable career by exploring, developing and leveraging their talents, training, skills, and ambitions.

All of these factors combine to make the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance one of the country's most important centers for the training of young composers.

 

faculty

 

 

guest composers & past faculty

In addition to the regular faculty, students have the opportunity to work with a variety of eminent composers each semester.

news

image for Regents appoint Melody Racine as interim dean of SMTD
Regents appoint Melody Racine as interim dean of SMTD

Melody Racine, senior associate dean for academic, faculty, and student affairs at SMTD will step in as interim dean of the school, effective Aug. 16.     more

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Alumnus Michael-Thomas Foumai, MM '11, DMA '14, was named one of the 2017 Morton Gould Young Composer Award recipients by ASCAP.

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Dean Dworkin's statement on proposed elimination of NEA and NEH

In a letter to all SMTD constituents, Aaron Dworkin lays out the importance of the NEA and NEH to our nation and to the future success of our students.  more

Michael Daugherty at the GRAMMY Awards (photo: Yopie Prins)
Professors Daugherty and Gramley receive GRAMMY Awards

Daugherty's "Tales of Hamingway" album with the Nashvill Symphony received 3 Grammys, including Best Contemporary Classical Compostion. As a member of YoYo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, Gramley won Best World Music Album for "Sing Me Home." more

 

Michael Daugherty, Professor of Composition
Evan Chambers, Professor and Chair of CompositionRoshanne Etezady, Lecturer in CompositionKristin Kuster, professor of compositionErik Santos, Associate Professor of Composition and Director, Electronic Music StudioPaul Schoenfield, Professor of CompositionBright Sheng, Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor of Composition
"Michigan, for me, was incredible. I worked with everyone..... There are many schools that have great teachers but few where you can work with them intensively. I was not shy about approaching them, but there was something about Michigan that made me feel that I could."
Derek Bermel, MM Composition 1993 & DMA Composition 1997

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower

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