The composition major at Chapman University places an emphasis on creativity and the study of modern approaches and techniques of music making within an academic model. Under the guidance of Chapman’s renowned composition faculty, students compose in a wide variety of performance media, are guided through previously unexplored avenues of aesthetic and technical awareness, and work toward developing individual stylistic points of view.
Students may declare an intention to major in composition at entrance. Formal admission to the Bachelor of Music in Composition degree program will be granted prior to the junior year, after competence levels in theoretical work, compositional skills, and demonstrated potential have been evaluated. At that time a jury of faculty, headed by a composition professor, will determine the appropriateness of the degree objective. Students accepted into the program must demonstrate an acceptable level of proficiency on a major instrument or voice. A senior recital must be completed with approval of, and while enrolled for study with, the student’s major professor of composition.
Composition majors participate in the preparation and performance of new student works through the New Music Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Ensemble-in-Residence Program, Guest Composers, and works written for the many other ensembles on campus. Through this active participation, students begin to develop an intuitive understanding of musical performance and a sense of professionalism when rehearsing and presenting their work.
Graduates of the program have had their compositions performed professionally throughout the United States, continued their studies in composition at the graduate level, and received fellowships, commissions and awards for their compositions.