Composition track allows students to study, practice, and demonstrate their creative abilities through original composition, arrangement, orchestration and in numerous mediums.
MUS 103 offers students the chance to hear their works performed. Through analysis, score study, and instrumentation training, students learn various compositional tools. They learn how to develop effective notation in order to realize their work fully.
Students are expected to complete both a Junior and Senior Portfolio. Students who exhibit exceptional skills in composition and theory may be invited to follow the Honors Track in place of the regular track. Please note that entry into the Honors Track is by faculty invitation only. Notification is usually given by the composition faculty following the submission of the Junior portfolio.
There is a yearly call for scores for the Undergraduate Composers Concert (typically Spring Term; sometimes also in Fall term).
Note: Honors Composition Track students may register for MUS 194 and/or MUS 199 only after having completed not less than one term (preferably two) of MUS 103, and with the approval of the composition faculty.
Information on Submitting Portfolios
The Composition Track requires two portfolio submissions:
Students should submit one or more pieces of music lasting 5-8 minutes, which have been supervised by the composition faculty during its creation, either in MUS 103, MUS 107 or equivalent. Only new works should be submitted with each portfolio submission, which are due the last day of instruction each Spring term.
Students should submit one or more pieces of music lasting 7–10 minutes, supervised by the composition faculty during its creation, in either MUS 103, MUS 107, MUS 195, or equivalent. This portfolio must include at least one piece for a small ensemble (3 or more performers). You must have PASSED the Junior Portfolio in order to submit your Senior Portfolio. Submissions are not cumulative: only new works should be submitted with each portfolio submission, which are due the last day of instruction each Spring term.
Admission to the honors program in composition is by invitation from the composition faculty after submission of the junior portfolio. The entire composition faculty takes into account not only the student’s current portfolio, but also the student’s previous performance record in MUS 103, MUS 107, MUS 199, previous composition projects, and music theory classes. The composition faculty considers how well the student engages in compositional opportunities offered by the department, such as writing for and working with professional performers. These opportunities are announced early in the academic year and posted on the website. Typically, a faculty member who has worked closely with a student in these activities steps forward to nominate the student and to serve as a mentor for the final honors project.
Senior Honors Portfolio
Students should submit one or multiple pieces of approximately 10–13 minutes of original compositions of varied instrumentation and advanced scope. Notifications go out following submission of the Junior portfolio. Completion of honors track course requirements are detailed in the Course catalogue. You must have received a pass on the Junior Portfolio and been invited for admission into the honors track in order to submit your Senior Honors Portfolio.
- Due the last day of instruction each Spring Quarter.