Created with Sketch.

The Composition program equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to be creative while engaging with the specific context of our time.

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Music (BM)
  • Master of Music (MM)
  • Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Other Studies

  • Professional Studies Certificate (PS)

Program Details

Programs of study for composition majors are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills required for the fullest development of their individual creative gifts.

Specialized courses for undergraduate students include:

  • Composition Forum
  • Instrumentation and Orchestration
  • Electronic Music
  • Undergraduate Form and Analysis
  • Composing for (and with) the Voice
  • Living in Sound: The Theory of Listening and Sound Art
  • Acoustics and Tuning Systems
  • Experimental Indeterminate Music and Improvisation

Specialized courses for graduate students include:

  • Composition Forum
  • Advanced Orchestration
  • Graduate Aesthetics and Form
  • Electronic Music
  • Score Reading

In addition to studying with MSM’s expert faculty, composition students are given opportunities for response to present their work in master classes by world-renowned guest composers and performers.

Audition & Prescreening Information

Prescreening & Audition Procedures

Handbook for Current Students

Composition Department Handbook

Plan of Study & Course Descriptions

Plan of Study: Composition
MSM Academic Catalog

Meet current MSM Composition Students

Learn about students in the MSM Composition program

Meet recent graduates of the MSM Composition program


Watch videos from the MSM Composition program

Composition Faculty and Instructors

Reiko Fueting: Department Chair; Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty
David Adamcyk: Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty
Ashkan Behzadi: Private Instruction: Composition Course Faculty
Susan Botti: Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty
Valerie Colman: Private Instruction
Nirmali Fenn: Private Instruction; Composition Course Faculty
J. Mark Stambaugh: Private Instruction

Leah Asher: Composition Course Faculty: Experimental Indeterminate Music
Yu-Chun Chien: Composition Course Faculty: Senior Orchestration
Hayes Biggs: Composition Course Faculty: Undergraduate Form and Analysis
Michael Harrison: Composition Course Faculty: Acoustics and Tuning Systems
Paolo Marchettini: Composition Course Faculty: Score Reading
David McDonald: Composition Course Faculty: Instrumentation/ Orchestration

Success Stories

See All
  • Apr 3, 2024 Composition
    MSM Composition faculty member Paolo Marchettini record releases new recording Ebony Chants on April 12
  • Jul 7, 2023 Composition
    MSM alumnus Christopher Cerrone releases new opera recording In a Grove
  • Apr 28, 2023 Composition
    MSM Dean of Academic Core and Head of Composition Reiko Füting releases the world premiere recording of the opera Mechthild

“The Composition Department and greater new music community at MSM has allowed me to flourish as an artist. I have discovered things about my compositional voice that I would have never thought possible, had it not been for my colleagues and professors at this school.”


    Email This Page

    Email Message

    Page Reference
    (will be sent in email)