Bachelor of Music: Concentration in Composition

The composition and arranging program at Western Oregon University prepares students to meet the versatile demands of composing in the professional marketplace by studying with international award-winning composers. In addition to a composition-based music theory program, students will hone their compositional craft in orchestration, jazz arranging, contemporary composition techniques, music media production and film scoring courses. Student composers receive multiple opportunities to have their works performed by the various WOU performance ensembles and gain further performance and recording opportunities through on-campus recitals, including the composer’s Spectrum concert, and through community-engagement projects with local school districts, churches, and civic music organizations that provide composition students with experiential-learning opportunities to help them more effectively understand, better position themselves in, and cultivate a positive force of influence on today’s music marketplace. Students under the tutelage of WOU composition faculty have won the prestigious BMI Student Composers Award, the Oregon Symphony sponsored Conti-Connection Composition Competition, the Oregon Symphony sponsored Creative Kids Composition Competition, the International Association of Jazz Educators Gil Evans Fellowship Competition, and Fear No Music’s Young Composers Project.

The annual WOU Composer’s Workshop brings international composers, songwriters and performers to campus providing a forum for composition students to engage these professionals in masterclasses, score reading sessions, recordings, and performances of their works. Recent guests of the Composer’s Workshop include Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Moscow String Quartet, Art Abrams Swing Machine Big Band, Thelema Trio, and Oscar-award winning Disney composer Dave Metzger.

Degree Requirements

4-Year Degree Plan

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Kevin M. Walczyk | | 503-838-8274

Undergraduate Composition Courses

  • MUS 371, 372, & 373 – Orchestration I-III
  • MUS 318 & 418 – Contemporary Composition Techniques I-II
  • MUS 414 – Jazz Theory
  • MUS 415 & 416 – Jazz Arranging I-II
  • MUS 421, 422, & 423 – Media Music Production (Film Scoring)
  • MUP 192, 292, 392 & 492 – Applied Composition Lessons

Graduate Composition Courses

  • MUS 640 – College Pedagogy (composition)
  • MUS 518 – Contemporary Composition Techniques
  • MUS 514 – Jazz Theory
  • MUS 515 & 516 – Jazz Arranging I-II
  • MUS 521, 522, & 523 – Media Music Production (Film Scoring)
  • MUP 692 – Applied Composition Lessons

Music Department | Smith Hall | | 503-838-8461

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