About the Program

The composition major places an emphasis on creativity, study of modern approaches and techniques of music making. Students compose in a wide variety of performance media, and most works are performed immediately. Composition majors are encouraged to work with as many ensembles as possible while learning what it takes to get music rehearsed and performed. Real world tools such as understanding instruments, music preparation, rehearsal techniques and preparing for a performance are just a few of the aspects that are addressed. Composition students produce a senior recital. All Composition Majors are in Contemporary Music Ensemble which functions as a compositional lab and performance ensemble.

Students explore a variety of techniques, with emphasis placed upon developing unique individual approaches to creative work, exploring previously unexplored avenues of awareness, and developing individual stylistic points of view. Rowan music program graduates have had their works performed professionally throughout the United States. Many continue their study of composition through graduate school and have received fellowships, commissions and awards for their work.


Student Tesimonials

..."Between the many classes I took, the ensembles I wrote for and participated in, and most importantly, the private instruction I received. The opportunities at Rowan were endless. I made it known that I was serious about writing, and had music played by every ensemble Rowan had to offer. The faculty gave me outstanding guidance and support. My education from Rowan was priceless."

-Jake Spinella '13 (Currently a GTA at University of Louisiana at Lafayette pursuing an MM in composition)

..."The composition department's open-mindedness and creative spirit unlocked musical potential I didn't know I had. Studying with Denny gave me the ability to see new ideas in the music I had already written, and many opportunities to hear it played by actual musicians. Rowan University's Composition Department literally changed the course of my life - I was encouraged to participate in the program as a non-Composition major and was able to build a portfolio that prepared me for graduate level study. I would encourage any aspiring composer to take advantage of the numerous real-world opportunities Rowan's Composition Department offers - the faculty will truly set any hard-working student up for success."

-Shannon Crumlish '12 (Currently a GTA at University of Louisiana at Lafayette completing an MM in composition)

..."Rowan University's composition program provided me an education with opportunities for real-life experiences that were unique to my career goals. The faculty's invaluable insight and breadth of knowledge in diverse fields elevated my own understanding of music and the music business, which enabled me to forge a career as a composer. I owe my success to the music faculty at Rowan University."

-Kevin Stahl '12

Composition Faculty

Degree Offerings

  • MM - Master of Music in Composition
  • BM - Bachelor of Music in Composition

>> back to top

Course Offerings

  • Music Theory
  • Musical Styles
  • Vocal Arranging
  • Computer Tech and Music
  • Form/Score Analysis
  • Form and Analysis
  • 20th Century Literature and Techniques
  • Music Theory/Pedagogy
  • Applied Music
  • Business of Music
  • Jazz Arranging
  • Modern and Traditional Tune Writing
  • Orchestration

>> back to top