University of Minnesota Duluth

Theory / Composition Area

Career Outlook

The Bachelor of Music degree with a major in theory-composition prepares the student for careers as composers and music theorists. Over the course of the four-year program, the student will be engaged in courses that were designed to emphasize a deep exploration of the aesthetics and techniques that can help develop their individual creative thought and provide direction for further study. Students meet in forums for peer and instructor critique and work towards public performances of their music.

Educational Preparation

Unique to our program is the New Music Festival, an annual program featuring guest performers that specialize in contemporary music from across the country and around the world. Students have the opportunity to compose pieces specifically for these groups and receive professional-level performances of their works in a reading workshop/recording session. By the time most theory-composition students graduate, they have a portfolio of three or four recordings of their ensemble pieces. Also, many of our students have had works performed by the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra through their student composer competition. Instructor-led preparation for all of these opportunities, in addition to the core curriculum of harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, form and analysis, and ensemble participation and studio lessons will prepare the student for an active career as a composer and/or prepare them for further academic studies.

Listen to a recording of a composition, Waltz, by the Chair of the Composition Department, Dr. Justin Rubin, performed by two UMD faculty members, cellist Dr. Betsy Husby and pianist Dr. Alexander Cherneyshev.

Music Technology

The new Music Technology Lab, located in Humanities 160, is a state-of-the-art facility designed to provide students and faculty with the means to create, produce and distribute musical and other collaborative artistic projects from one location. It is a fifteen-station lab featuring Apple Macintosh iMac computers as well as three high-end Apple Mac Pro workstations. In addition to the computer hardware, the lab is capable of presenting video in high-definition sound and audio and each workstation has the following software available for use:

Additionally, the lab is capable of in-room recording and doubles as the student piano lab featuring Yamaha CP300 keyboards. Students must bring their own removable storage media (flash drives) for use in the computer lab. The lab is open seven days a week with hours posted outside the door.



For Information about music department programs and upcoming concerts, please call 218-726-8877