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Thank you for your interest in the IU Composition Department!
By any measure, the composition department at IU consistently ranks among the top institutions of its kind in the world. The distinguished faculty consisting of David Dzubay, Don Freund, John Gibson, Larry Groupé, Han Lash, P. Q. Phan, Aaron Travers and Chi Wang is thoroughly committed to providing the best environment, stimulation, training, and opportunities for young composers, acting individually as teachers and mentors and together as a department. The number of students in the department averages around 50 split fairly evenly between graduate and undergraduate students; all receive weekly private lessons with the artist faculty.
The department offers Bachelor, Master, and Doctor of Music degrees, Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field, Master of Computer Music Composition and starting in fall 2019, Master of Music in Scoring for Visual Media as well as undergraduate and graduate certificates in music scoring, available to degree and non-degree students. IU composition students have been outstandingly successful in winning recognition in competitions, receiving significant commissions and performances, and finding placement in the academic and professional world when they complete their studies. Our students are also very diverse in many ways and display a high regard for the interests, ideas, and creations of their student colleagues, an attitude that is strongly supported by the philosophy and structure of the composition department.
The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music offers an unparalleled array of opportunities for young composers to hear first-rate performances of music, including monuments of music literature from all periods, new works by faculty and guest composers, and most importantly, the students’ own compositions. Each academic year the composition department schedules at least eight general Student Composition Recitals; all composition majors are encouraged to program their works on these recitals, which usually comprise solo instrumental and vocal pieces, works for chamber ensembles, and electro-acoustic compositions. Students also present their own degree recitals. Each semester a week of readings by one of the school’s orchestras is devoted to student compositions. The orchestras also regularly perform student compositions. Other ensembles, such as the Wind Ensemble, the Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and the New Music Ensemble, also schedule readings and performances for composers. As well, under the guidance of faculty mentors, the Student Composer Association organizes innovative collaborations each year with the School of Fine Arts (“New Art – New Music”), the IU Cinema and Media School filmmakers (“Double Exposure”), and various other departments (“Hammer & Nail”). Performance is central to our department; the chance to regularly collaborate with some of the world’s finest student performers is truly unique to the IU environment.
I believe that the more you can learn about the composition department at Indiana, the more you will appreciate why we believe this is the best place for young composers to discover and develop their potential.
PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS: Please read our frequently asked questions and sample music by our students and faculty. I also encourage you to contact the Coordinator of Music Composition with any other questions you might have about the study of composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Additionally, feel free to write to Professor Don Freund if you are applying for the BM, Professor Aaron Travers if applying for MM or DM, Professor John Gibson if applying for the MM in Computer Music Composition, or Professor Larry Groupé if applying for a music scoring degree, certificate, or minor.
Chair, Composition Department
Associate Professor, Music Composition