The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance offers a range of coursework, opportunities, and facilities for the study of music composition. Applied lessons in composition are available to undergraduate and graduate music majors as well as additional course offerings in arranging, orchestration, electronic music, and music analysis.

Study With

James David

  • Professor of Music
  • Composition, Music Theory

(970) 491-4154

Composition Laboratory

The Music Composition Laboratory (inside the University Center for the Arts) boasts state-of-the-art hardware and software for both composition and audio production.  This lab is specifically dedicated for use by composition students only who have 24-hour secure access to the space.  It also provides students with access to high-quality laser printers and binding machines for the creation of professional quality scores. The following software programs are currently available:

Notation Software:

  • Finale
  • Sibelius

Digital Audio:

  • Ableton Live Suite
  • Max/MSP
  • Pro Tools HD
  • Logic Pro X
  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • Reason
  • East-West Symphonic Libraries
  • Tapspace Percussion Library

Student Achievement

Student composers at CSU have been accepted to numerous prestigious graduate music programs throughout the nation and abroad. Some of the more notable programs are listed below:

  • Brandeis University
  • Royal Northern College of Music (UK)
  • University of Texas – Austin
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Missouri – Kansas City
  • University of Missouri – Columbia
  • University of Massachusetts – Amherst
  • University of Southern California
  • Arizona State University
  • Florida State University
  • University of Colorado – Boulder
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Northern Colorado

Additionally, student composers have participated in prominent new music festivals and composition workshops including the following:

  • Cortona New Music Sessions (Italy)
  • Valencia International Performance Academy & Festival (Spain)
  • University of Cincinnati Film Scoring Workshop
  • University of Missouri Summer Composers Workshop
  • College Music Society Regional Conferences

Composition Events

Composition News

No events now.
CSU Trombone Choir performing at ITF 2023

CSU Trombone Choir at the 2023 International Trombone Festival


Colorado State University’s Trombone Choir performed four world premier pieces at the 2023 International Trombone Festival, including compositions by Chris Evan Hass, Amber Sheeran (B.M. Music Education, CSU ’21), James M. David (CSU Professor of Music), and Kevin Poelking (CSU Assistant Professor of Bands). The group was invited to perform based on a submitted recording. […]

The American Prize Logo

2023 American Prize Winners Announced and CSU Music Faculty Make the List


Three of CSU’s music faculty received 2023 American Prize recognition in the Instrumental Performance professional division. The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts is the nation’s most comprehensive series of contests in the classical arts. The prize is “nonprofit, unique in scope and structure, and is designed to evaluate, recognize and reward […]