Composers Roundtable


Composition Program

We invite composers of all ages to join our Composition Roundtable. Whether you're an emerging talent or an experienced composer, our program offers a supportive community where you can explore music and composition, discuss all things relating to form and structure, and prepare your new compositions for performance.

Our expert faculty provides guidance and mentorship to help you refine your musical ideas. One of the program's highlights is the opportunity to showcase your work, with performances recorded and archived for your portfolio. Join us and immerse yourself in a world of musical creativity, collaboration, and growth. Unlock your artistic potential and leave with a portfolio enriched by your unique compositions.



voice & piano or guitar
voice & instruments

guitar & mandolin

mandolin & piano

cello & guitar or piano

piano and viola or cello

viola and cello

guitar and viola


Composition faculty suggestions --

William Anderson possible points of departure

--Small, Emersonian & Bluesy: Composers of Our Climate

--breaking the octotonic -- David Loeb's Between Sea and Sky and Kentner Anderson's Kaleko Sonata

--some things to try when a blank page is staring at you (inspired by conversations with Hindemith students)

--counterpoint more broadly, as a confluence of musical values operating in different spheres, supporting one another; or, how to make a gesture less empty?

--what did we mean by "cadence"? or cadence and time scales

Dr. Edward Smaldone (Prof. of Theory and composition at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College) proposes --

--improvisation workshops at various levels (including beginner through advanced)
--reading Lead Sheet notation, Figured Bass, standard Jazz harmonic and improvisation techniques
--contemporary techniques for improvisation in the style of composers such as Stravinsky, Debussy, Bartok and Schoenberg.
--Participants will receive a short anthology of sample exercises in all styles.

Emil Awad offered a sketch of possible topics --

--Power and freedom in ordering in post-tonal composition

--The neoclassical aggregate

--Asymmetric Combinatorial Pair and other exotic pairings

--Áreas, invariants and Middleground planning.

--Cognitive planes: a psychological perspective on Schenker

Jonathan Dawe

--Fractals and Cellular Automata as a Compositional Determinant

Readings led by the faculty

The Poems of Our Climate
Wallace Stevens

There would still remain the never-resting mind,
So that one would want to escape, come back
To what had been so long composed.
The imperfect is our paradise.
Note that, in this bitterness, delight,
Since the imperfect is so hot in us,
Lies in flawed words and stubborn sounds.

Schedule (subject to change): 

June 27 - Arrival, pick up at the airport, tour of town, orientation meeting 

June 28 - Faculty and guest artist concert
June 29 - Working day, student concert

June 30 - Working day, student and faculty concert

July 1 - Working day
July 2 - Working day
July 3 - Working day, piano factory excursion
July 4 - Working day
July 5 - Working day, student concert
July 6 - Working day, student concert
July 7 - Working day, student concert
July 8 - Excursion to Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau concert
July 9 - Excursion to Paris, Paris concert
July 10 - Paris sight-seeing

July 11 - Depart


Typical Working Day Schedule:


  • 8:00 AM - Begin your day with a hearty breakfast, setting the stage for a day filled with musical inspiration.

  • 9:00 AM - Engage in thought-provoking discussions on music theory, composition techniques, and form, led by our esteemed faculty. Explore new approaches to your craft, whether you're composing symphonies or experimenting with avant-garde soundscapes. Additionally, scheduled practice sessions, lessons, and coaching are available to further enhance your skills.

  • 10:00 AM - Dive into the heart of composition with the Composer's Seminar, a dedicated session where you'll receive invaluable feedback and insights on your works in progress. Additional scheduled practice, lessons, and coaching sessions are provided to support your artistic development.


  • 12:00 PM - Recharge with a delightful lunch, allowing you to fuel both body and creativity.

  • 2:00 PM - Immerse yourself in the Vocal and Instrumental Seminars, tailoring your afternoon to your chosen path. Continue to work on your compositions with scheduled practice, lessons, and coaching.

  • 4:00 PM - Enjoy a well-deserved snack break, perfect for mingling with fellow composers and sharing ideas.

  • 4:30 PM - The afternoon crescendos with a master class, an opportunity to present and discuss your compositions in a collaborative setting. Scheduled practice, lessons, and coaching round out your day, ensuring your progress remains on track.


  • 6:00 PM - Extend your creative journey with evening coachings, optional classes, and further exploration of music theory, composition techniques, or French language and culture, providing a well-rounded artistic experience.

  • 7:00 PM - Conclude your day with a delightful dinner, where you can reflect on your creative discoveries and connect with fellow composers. For those seeking a different outlet, enjoy sports and games to unwind and build lasting friendships.