Looking for a career in music composition? As an undergraduate at Truman, you can choose a Composition emphasis within the Bachelor of Arts, elective studies in the theory/composition area, or a music minor with composition coursework.
We also offer a Master of Arts in music with either a composition or a theory emphasis. The theory emphasis culminates in a written thesis, while the composition emphasis culminates in a thesis composition accompanied by an analytical description.
No matter which path you choose to pursue, our program is designed to be flexible to meet your needs and goals.
What You Need to Succeed
Your theory and composition courses provide a comprehensive curriculum designed to meet the needs of today's musicians. They include analysis and aural skills (4 semesters), private study in composition (graduate and undergraduate), counterpoint, form and analysis, 20th century compositional practices and literature, contemporary analytical techniques, and introduction to composition. We can also arrange independent studies in specialized areas of theory, music technology and/or composition.
Like many of our students, you may find yourself presenting scholarly research papers at regional and national research conferences. Supporting courses in instrumental and vocal arranging, orchestration, and conducting complement your theory/composition curriculum - giving you a well-rounded foundation for your career in music.
Nationally-recognized educators, scholars, and composers teach all your courses - never graduate students. Add to that a comprehensive system of peer tutors for all students enrolled in analysis and aural skills classes and you get the one-on-one instruction at Truman you can't find at larger schools.
Our Music Department provides a stimulating learning environment that encourages intellectual interaction between students and faculty. Gather and discuss your craft in composition master classes, which provide an opportunity to learn from one another's work in a friendly, informal setting.
Our students, faculty and ensembles regularly perform student compositions. Our students are members of The Mostly Live Composers Society, which is an official student chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc. - one of the largest composers organizations in the country. We also host a New Horizons Music Festival and co-sponsor an annual international composition competition. Recent guest composers include:
Our Graduates Succeed
Our student composers have received national and regional composition awards, and their music has been performed at significant music events across the country. Several of our alumni have received prestigious commissions by organizations such as the Des Moines Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, and others have administrative roles in the National Association of Composers USA, the Mid-America New Music Center and the Iowa Composers Forum. Many of our students pursue advanced graduate study in composition.
Whatever your interest, there's a place for you here.
For more information about the theory/composition program, contact Dr. Warren Gooch.
Megan Arns recently jointed the School of Music faculty at the University of Missouri in August 2014 as Assistant Teaching Professor of Percussion. Megan is a candidate for a D.M.A. in Percussion Performance & Literature and a M.A. in Ethnomusicology at the Eastman School of Music and was awarded performance degrees from Florida State University […] Read More
Undergraduate percussion students Nicole Ulmer and Andrew Brogan, and incoming freshman, Jensynn Casper, are out on the road this summer. Nicole is in the front ensemble with Phantom Regiment, Andrew on tenors with the Scouts (Madison), and Jensynn in the front ensemble with the Troopers. Best wishes to each! Dr. Michael Bump was recently named […] Read More