Music Theory & Composition
The Florida State University College of Music features one of the largest and most distinguished theory and composition faculties in the United States. Our students gain valuable experience in teaching and research, working with faculty members who care deeply about both pursuits.
This is shaping up to be another great school year. Like always, we will are hosting a number of guest scholars and composers. Also, our sixteenth biennial Festival of New Music took place at the beginning of spring semester. Highlights include:
- Composer and pianist David Gompper (University of Iowa), discussed his music with our composers and, with violinist Wolfgang David, performed a recital on Monday, October 8, 2012. (Details on the Guest Theorists and Composers page)
- Music theorist Scott Murphy (University of Kansas) was in residence from October 8-10, 2012. He provided two public lectures, taught classes, and met individually with students. (Details on the Guest Theorists and Composers page)
- Music theorist and pianist Norman Carey (City University of New York) was in residence during the week of October 22, 2012. (Details on the Guest Theorists and Composers page)
- Guest composer Nomi Epstein and the Charleston New Music Collective led a Composition Forum on October 26.
- Our 30th annual FSU Music Theory Forum took place on January 19, 2012; James Hepokoski (Yale University) delivered a spectacular keynote address.
- Our sixteenth biennial Festival of New Music took place from January 31-February 2, 2013. Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer Zhou Long (University of Missouri at Kansas City) was our special guest.
- During the Festival of New Music, Composer and music theorist Robert D. Morris (Eastman School of Music) presented a lecture "Analysis without Theory?" on Friday, February 1 at 3:45 in Longmire Recital Hall.
- Music theorist John Roeder (University of British Columbia) visited on February 18-19, 2013, presenting public lectures and working with this year's doctoral seminar members.
- Composer Carter Pann (University of Colorado, Boulder) will be in residence on February 25. He will offer a lecture on/demonstration of his music at 4:00 in Dohnanyi Recital Hall and that evening at 8:00 Prof. Joel Hastings will play a recital of Pann's music at 8:00 in Longmire Recital Hall.
- Naturally, our faculty and students continue to be active in our national and regional societies. Profs. Clifton Callender and Nancy Rogers and ABD student Emily Swift Gertsch each presented their research at the 2012 annual Society for Music Theory meeting in New Orleans, and Profs. Evan Jones and Joe Kraus serve on the SMT executive board. Prof. Matthew Shaftel was recently elected president of Music Theory Southeast and we will surely have another great showing of students and faculty at the spring meeting of that society.
Our record for job placement continues to be outstanding. Three of our graduates and ABDs began new faculty positions this year. You can see a complete list of where our graduates teach here. Our recent job placements include:
- Bryn Hughes (Ph.D music theory, 2011) joined the faculty of the University of Miami's Frost School of Music this fall. He was previously Assistant Professor of Music Theory at Ithaca College.
- Jennifer Smith (ABD, music theory) joined the faculty of the University of Florida this fall as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory.
- Emily Swift Gertsch (ABD, music theory) joined the faculty of the University of Georgia's Hugh Hodgson School of Music this fall as (full-time) Lecturer in Music Theory.
- Greg Decker (Ph.D. music theory, 2011) serves on the faculty of Bowling Green State University (Ohio) as Assistant Professor of Music Theory.
- Dave Easley (Ph.D. music theory, 2011) serves on the faculty of Oklahoma City University as Assistant Professor of Music Theory.
- Crystal Peebles (Ph.D. music theory, 2011) serves on the faculty of Northern Arizona University as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory.
- Alan Theisen (Ph.D. music theory, 2010) is Assistant Professor of Music at Mars Hill College (NC). Al was previously Resident Scholar and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music.
- Three of our music theory faculty members won University Teaching Awards this year: Prof. Matthew Shaftel was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award (FSU's highest prize for teaching), Michael Buchler was awarded a Graduate Teaching Award, and Nancy Rogers was awarded an Undergraduate Teaching Award.
- Judith Ofcarcik was awarded the best student paper prize at this year's Music Theory Southeast meeting in Boone, NC. She also won the Colvin Award for the outstanding student paper at the 2013 Texas Society for Music Theory conference! This is the fourth year in a row that an FSU student has won that prize (2010: Sarah Sarver; 2011: Greg Decker; 2012: Emily Gertsch)!
- Judith Ofcarcik A week after defending her dissertation, Ph.D. candidate, Judith Ofcarcik was awarded the Colvin Award for the outstanding student paper at the 2013 Texas Society for Music Theory conference! This is the fourth year in a row that an FSU student has won that prize (2010: Sarah Sarver; 2011: Greg Decker; 2012: Emily Gertsch)!
- Joshua Mills (DM composition student) won the inaugural FSU Student Orchestral Composition Prize for his work “…durch den Tod zu Gott gekommen....” The University Philharmonia will premiere this composition on its April 12, 2013, concert in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall.
- Joshua Mills has also been active on the music theory front! He will be presenting his paper "" at the Rocky Mountain Society for Music Theory on April 6, 2013. One of our recent graduates, Crystal Peebles (Ph.D. music theory), is also on that program.
- FSU composers will be well-represented at this year's Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), October 31 through November 3 in Austin, Texas.
- Masters student and SCI president Jamie Whitmarsh will participate in a panel discussion "Current Trends in Percussion Composition" and the Tennessee Tech University Percussion Ensemble will perform his recent, prizewinning work, Concerto for Drumset and Percussion Ensemble.
- Austin-based percussion trio line upon line will perform doctoral student Joshua William Mills's work Prism of the Plural.
- As part of the h2 Saxophone Quartet, music theory PhD student Kim Loeffert was a finalist in the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition in New York City. As finalists, her ensemble performed in Merkin Concert Hall on Wednesday, October 17th.
- Prof. Michael Buchler was the keynote speaker at the 2012 Oklahoma Music Theory Roundtable in October. Recent FSU graduates (and current Oklahoma City University professors) Dave Easley and Sarah Sarver also presented at that conference.
- DM student Joshua Keeling's piece "Draconids" (for soprano saxophone, bassoon, and interactive electroacoustics) was selected for performance at the Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium in August 2012. "Draconids" was also performed at the 2012 national meeting of SEAMUS and the 2012 CMS Southern-Region conference.
- MM student Jamie Whitmarsh's “Concerto for Drumset and Percussion Ensemble” was selected as the first place winner in the 2012 Percussive Arts Society Composition Contest, Drumset Soloist with Percussion Ensemble Category.
- Profs. Nancy Rogers and Michael Buchler and recent Ph.D. graduates Crystal Peebles and Bryn Hughes had papers on the International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition in Thessaloniki, Greece in July.
- Prof. Jane Piper Clendinning presented at the Steve Larson Memorial Conference (WCCMTA) in March.
- Doctoral theory students Emily Swift Gerstch and Jennifer Smith and theory professor Michael Buchler presented at Music Theory Southeast last March. Prof. Nancy Rogers led the graduate-student workshop at the conference.
- Current doctoral students Andrew Gades and Judith Ofcarcik and recent graduates Greg Decker and David Easley presented papers at other regional music theory conferences this past spring.
Doctoral theory student Andrew Gades presented a paper at the Redlands American Music Symposium in March.
Composition doctoral student Sotiris Melissis's composition Arrival was selected by the Dallas Wind Symphony in their 2011 Call for Fanfares.
- Composition doctoral student Michael Broder's piece That's Entertainment was selected as a winner of the 2011 Duo Fujin One-Day Composition Competition.
- Music theory doctoral student Andrew Gades's article "What's in a Title? Setting, Narrator, and Mimesis in Del Tredici's 'A Memory of the Players in a Mirror at Midnight'" appears in the journal Mosaic: Journal of Music Research.
- Prof. Clifton Callender was awarded the Journal of Music Theory's inaugural David Kraehenbuehl Prize. Prof. Callender won for his article "Continuous Harmonic Spaces" that was published in volume 51 of JMT.
- Prof. Evan Jones was awarded the Society for Music Theory's Citation of Special Merit for his two-volume book Intimate Voices.
- Prof. Ladislav Kubik was named a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow.