The division of Composition, Music Theory and Musicology includes three interconnected yet distinctive areas within the Conservatory whose faculty and students excel in scholarship, awards, publications, and performances.

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  • Water play for chamber ensemble 

    Wang, Mengyuan (2024)
    Water Play is a musical piece that integrates traditional Chinese elements, drawing inspiration from ancient Chinese culture's praise and depiction of water. It aims to present the rich imagery of water in Chinese culture. ...
  • Baltering: Music for the contemporary ballet class 

    Thomas, Jacob Ross (2024)
    The ballet pianist often serves as the main source of “Classical” or art music to the modern ballet dancer, and their choice of repertoire— along with the technical exercises that the dancers are given— naturally reflect ...
  • Melting the candle holder 

    Wang, Leyou (2024)
    My piece Melting the Candle Holder consists of three sprechgesang arias accompanied by symphony orchestra, each written for a character in the story Melting the Candle Holder, a traditional Chinese monologue cross-talk ...
  • Over the Desolation of Wildness Caresses the April Breeze 

    Wang, Siqi (2024)
    Over the Desolation of Wildness Caresses the April Breeze is a music composition that serves as an artistic response to the theme of pacifism, drawing inspiration from ancient Chinese philosophy and the ongoing chaos caused ...
  • Jujube 

    Mi, Yimian (2024)
    Jujube is a septet written for a jazz combo. The work is intended to explore the unique music language that combines Chinese Shanxi folk song singing style and jazz instrumental performing manner. The alto saxophone and ...
  • Xuanwumen Coup d'état 

    Tian, Songfeng (2024)
    Xuanwumen Coup d'État is a large chamber ensemble work that draws inspiration from the pivotal historical event of the Xuanwumen coup d'état orchestrated by Li Shimin in 626 AD. This coup not only marked Li Shimin's triumph ...
  • Crossroads of the Earth 

    Wang, Jiaqi (2024)
    Crossroads of The Earth is a single-movement mixed quartet in five sections, set for flute/piccolo, alto saxophone, violoncello, and piano. My inspiration for this composition stemmed from the environmental awareness film ...
  • Cross-cultural musical encounters: Muslim Mediterranean in the Enlightenment imagination 

    Snyder, Alexandria Lynn (2023)
    The rise of Enlightenment thinking during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries prompted many thinkers to search for new knowledge in varied ways. This shift motivated travelers to journey to places farther outside of ...
  • The Invisible Band: Cultural, Economic, and Societal Issues in Harmoniemusik 

    Pogorelova, Anya (2023)
    The phenomenon of harmoniemusik is unique in that it represents the richest emperors, the old and new aristocracy, and the poorest street beggars of Vienna all at the same time. Employing a harmoniemusik ensemble was so ...
  • This is All It Is for Treble Voice and Fixed Media 

    Hedrick, Katheryn Mae (2023)
    This is All It Is for treble voice and fixed media was born of the composer’s mission to combine her most admired genres of music. All five songs feature homages toward both pop music and electroacoustic traditions, however, ...
  • What Pain Calls to Witness for Mezzo-soprano, Clarinet, Piano, and Fixed Media 

    Caggiano, Gracie Christine (2023)
    What Pain Calls to Witness is an extended song cycle for mezzo-soprano, clarinet, piano, and fixed media, that contemplates aspects of disability. The work sets seven poems from Travis Chi Wing Lau’s Vagaries, which explores ...
  • Dispatches 

    Clay, Jack Henry (2023)
    Dispatches is an eight-movement work that focuses on the very human emotions of love and desire, including the darker side of these, as well as the effects of separation on the heart and mind. Using a small chamber ensemble ...
  • ORATORIO No. 1 

    Baker, Benjamin (2023)
    “ORATORIO NO. 1” is a multimedia polyptych for solo instrumentalist, live electronics, fixed media, short film, and interactive video. This work focuses on confusion of personal identity and the representation of self ...
  • The Autumn Leaves Swirl in Crisp October Wind 

    Lester, Ian (2023)
    The Autumn Leaves Swirl in Crisp October Wind is a programmatic work for wind ensemble consisting of five sections. Each section of the work takes the listener on a journey through my own childhood memories of autumn in ...
  • Ludwig Senfl's Psalm Motets and Their Influence, Use, and Musical Value in Politics and Religious Reformation 

    Roberts, Brittany Grace (2023)
    Within a culture of rapidly shifting religious ideas, music of the German-speaking lands began to slip into obscurity in the sixteenth century. It took the work of a few key players in an often dangerous climate of reformation ...
  • Use of Electronic Music in Brass Solo Literature 

    Hicks, Taylor Houston (2023)
    Brass and electronics is a relatively new performance genre from the late twentieth century that incorporates ever-advancing audio and computer technology. Over the last fifty years, the genre has advanced tremendously, ...
  • The Influence of Foreign-Born Oboists on English Musical Life, 1695-1737: Performers, Composers, and the Development of the Oboe Repertoire 

    Johnson, Timothy Blake (2023)
    After making its way from France in the late seventeenth century, the oboe played a large role in London’s musical life. As the oboe was at this time a fairly new instrument, performers and composers alike were still ...
  • Shattered Music 

    Walters, Martin (2023)
    Shattered Music (2023) is approximately a twenty-minute composition for woodwind quintet. This piece explores my feelings and reflections over the past ten years of composition studies at the collegiate level. I explore ...
  • The Brazilian Flute Topic 

    Ferreira, Rafael Ribeiro (2023)
    This dissertation studies the connection between the flute, in its materiality and function, and ideas on Brazilianness. A question permeates the narrative I propose: why has the flute become an instrument so representative ...
  • Starry Sky, a Concerto for Dizi and Orchestra 

    Liu, Yizhang (2022)
    Inspired by the sky and the universe, this composition is a concerto for the traditional Chinese instrument, the bamboo flute (Dizi in Chinese pronunciation), with the Western orchestra. As a United States-based Chinese ...

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