Composition Area


The CSU Department of Music offers two primary tracks for studying music composition.

The Bachelor of Music in Composition program is intended for students seeking to become professional composers or pursue graduate study in music composition or music theory. The program includes three years of formal composition lessons, the completion of two composition recitals (or equivalent public performances), and advanced courses in electronic music, music theory, counterpoint, and orchestration.

Non-music majors and “freshman” students are generally not eligible for private composition lessons unless the student demonstrates exceptional prior experience in composition. Graduate applied composition lessons or independent study can be taken for credit for any interested and qualified music graduate student. All composition students must pass Music Theory II (or an equivalent transfer course) AND complete an interview with the composition faculty before beginning lessons.

Student Composers Alliance
The composition studio formed an official student organization in 2008 that is dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art music at CSU and the greater Fort Collins community. The Alliance meets weekly in the Music Composition Lab where members present on various topics including contemporary trends in composition, leading composers from throughout the world, and their own music. The group also sponsors recitals of student compositions and will be an affiliated student chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc. in 2010.

Study With

James David

Associate Professor
Composition and Music Theory

(970) 491-4154

Composition Events

Composition News

Composer, James David, Wins Dallas Wind Symphony 2009-2010 Brass Fanfares Competition


08.29.09 – Colorado State University assistant professor of composition and music theory, James David, won the Dallas Wind Symphony 2009-2010 Brass Fanfares Competition for his original composition, Pavillons en l’air. The fanfare was selected from 96 submissions to the  annual international competition from the United States, UK, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Brazil, Norway, Czech […]

Lab and Related Facilities

The University Center for the Arts houses excellent resources for student composers. The Music Composition Lab features state-of-the-art Mac OSX workstations with industry standard digital audio software listed below:

  • Pro Tools
  • Logic and Digital Performer
  • Ableton Suite
  • Max/MSP
  • Finale and Sibelius
  • Reason + Record

Additionally, the Performing Arts Library and Computer Lab features Finale and Sibelius, the Naxos Music Library’s collection of over 45,000 recordings, a library of over 5,000 CD’s and LP’s, MIDI keyboard controllers, and portable digital recorders. This facility is open to all university students.