Welcome to the Composers page! 

At KSC, we offer a robust Bachelor of Music in Composition degree.  Click here to see the composition curriculum.  We also offer composition classes and lessons for non-majors.  If you have an interest in composition but you’re not sure where to start, talk to our Composition Coordinator, Dr. Heather Gilligan.  We’d love to hear from you.

Student Composers Recital

Our talented and experienced KSC Music Department composition faculty train students in compositional techniques within a variety of styles and forms. Student composers also learn about orchestration, notation, rehearsal skills, and applicable technologies.

Students enrolled in composition classes or lessons must develop a piece from concept to performance by the end of each semester. These works are showcased in the bi-annual Student Composers Recital, which features student and faculty performers who work in collaboration with composition students to bring new compositions to life.

Composition major Alex Poor, Class of 2017, talks about his piece

Students majoring in composition present a Senior Composition recital, and this semester we have three students giving recitals!

Composition majors enrolled in applied composition lessons must present their works in a Portfolio Review at the end of each semester.  This review enables students to meet with a panel of composition faculty, present the contents of their portfolio, and discuss their short- and long-term compositional goals.

Our composition program prepares students for life after graduation!  KSC composition students have recently been accepted into masters and doctoral programs at McGill University, California Institute of the Arts, Boston University, Eastman School of Music, The Peabody Institute, The Longy School of Music, and the University of Miami.


Heather Gilligan, Composition Coordinator
Elaine Ginsberg
Andrew Smith
Craig Sylvern


Composers are encouraged to participate in a variety of instrumental and choral ensembles in order to write successfully for these combinations.  We especially recommend composers enroll in The Currants, KSC’s Contemporary Music Ensemble.  This mixed chamber ensemble invites instrumentalists and vocalists of any type and rehearses new music in small groups of duos and trios.

The following ensembles are also beneficial to the training of successful composers; of course, it depends whether you play or sing!

Concert Choir
Chamber Singers
Vocal Consort
Concert Band
Guitar Orchestra
Woodwind Ensembles
Brass Ensembles
String Ensemble

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