Applied Composition/Arranging Curriculum
The student begins planning the graduate recital from the first semester. The obligation is to create 45 minutes of music that features compositions as well as arrangements. This goal is only a minimum. Ideally, the student is encouraged to write beyond the recital to include recordings with the One O'Clock and Two O'Clock Lab Bands, The UNT Jazz Singers, or the Zebras or any other opportunities that may arise. The presentation of the recital is comprehensive with regard to ensemble types, musical styles and techniques. The student will perform and conduct on at least one piece each.
Semester 1 - jazz instrumentation (big band, small group, various sizes)
Semester 2 - vocal writing (jazz and non-jazz, a cappella, setting text, polyphony, voice-leading, vocal charts with inst
Semester 3 - orchestral instruments (the "orchestral" jazz band - mutes, ww doubles, notated rhythm parts; various
chamber settings, studio orch - with and w/o rhythm section, including strings, orchestral woodwinds, harp.)
Semester 4 - recital preparation - the student schedules an oral comprehensive exam with 3-faculty evaluators (Professor Murphy, Professor DeRosa, and one other professor in a related area). Other obligations include securing a
performance hall and performers for all musical works that include rehearsals, manuscript preparation,
conducting preparation, MIDI demos for vocal and string groups, booking support personnel (piano tuner,
sound engineer, recording engineer, videographer, stage hands), writing program notes and a recital program.
A student with expertise in any of the aforementioned areas of the curriculum may alternatively focus on scoring music for the media, review a deficient area, or explore new musical territory.
"Commissioned assignments " may be generated through a particular need from somewhere in the department - i.e. a special chart for a student vocalist, a particular arrangement to accommodate a guest artist, special music projects that service the school or community at large.
All comp/arr students will be expected to create good MIDI demos (using one of the digital audio programs - DP, Logic, Cubase, etc.) of their instrumental work. This has become beneficial, if not expected, in the industry as it helps performers practice the music for a recording session and provides producers (or clients) with a clear impression of the work prior to the human performance. The professor will guide the student in this endeavor.
For balance, the student is encouraged to find his or her own "voice". Students should bring in music that they want to explore. The professor will support a personal direction and ultimately help carve out a path for the student to hone specific career aspirations.