Thursday, September 02, 2004

Building a Composition program

Orlando Jacinto García offers a wonderfully detailed description of the composition program he has developed at Florida International University. Not only does he describe what the students are required to do, but he explains why those requirements were enacted. I offer a summary of the program requirements:

1) An Electronic Music Studio with technology courses: a must for the 21st century composer, even if your desire is acoustical music.

2) A new music ensemble: all composition majors must perform in the ensemble for 4 semesters, to expose them to a wide variety of literature and to keep them associated with the world of performing.

3) Recitals: Undergraduate composition majors are required to give a half-hour performance recital in addition to the 45-minute composition recital. They also have to conduct one of their works before graduation.

4) Concert organization: Composers have to organize their own performances, finding the musicians, scheduling rehearsals, coaching the performers, etc. The large ensembles do offer reading sessions each semester.

5) Composition seminars: The analysis and identification of 150 signficant works from the last 100 years, combined with presentations by contemporary composers and critiques of student works by the whole composition faculty.

6) A strong theory component (Yay!)

Professor García describes the graduate program briefly, but I'll ignore this given my liberal arts undergraduate school bias. The whole article is very good, I recommend it to everyone.

(via Caspar)

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