Composition / Electronic Music

Dates TBA

For students grades 6 - 12


The Composition / Electronic Music program was created to give any high school music students with an interest in composition or electronic music an opportunity to explore and develop new skills. This program provides a core group of six instrumentalists to perform and workshop new student compositions—flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion, the same as the renowned ensemble Eighth Blackbird. There will be individual composition lessons, master classes, and workshops on electronic music techniques, including notation, digital audio, and sound reinforcement.

Qualifications: Previous composition experience is helpful, but not required. At minimum you should be able to read treble and bass clef, and know a little about music theory (scales, triads and intervals).

Preparation: Please begin composing a piece for up to six players before you arrive. You don't need to use all six instrumentalists (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion). Your piece will be workshopped, completed and performed during ISYM. You do not need to finish before arrival, but you should at least have a starting point. And if you do have one piece already done, then you can probably write a second piece during the week. As participants in this program, students will have access to state-of-the-art computer labs equipped with software sound synthesis, computer-based composition and interactive performance control.


Click Here for Program Costs.

Program Faculty Artists
Dr. Steve Taylor, The University of Illinois

Stephen Andrew Taylor’s music often explores boundaries between art and science. His first orchestra commission, Unapproachable Light, inspired by images from the Hubble Space Telescope and the New Testament, was premiered by the American Composers Orchestra in 1996 in Carnegie Hall. Other works include the chamber quartet Quark Shadows, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony and premiered in 2001; and Seven Memorials, a half-hour cycle for piano inspired by the work of Maya Lin and premiered by Gloria Cheng in Los Angeles, 2004; she also performed the work at Tanglewood in 2006. The Machine Awakes, a CD of his orchestra, chamber and electronic music was released in 2010 on Albany Records; and Paradises Lost, an opera based on the novella by Ursula K. Le Guin, was premiered in Portland, Oregon and at the University of Illinois in 2012; it was featured at Toronto's SummerWorks festival in 2013, conducted by the composer. He was a 2014 Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation; his horn trio for Steven Stucky receives its premiere in Minneapolis in October 2016, performed by Bernhard Scully with the Bakken Trio.