Registration is now open for the 2020–21 school year. Any music student between age 8–18 is eligible, with no previous composition experience required!

The only prerequisites are that each applicant can read music and either play an instrument or sing. Financial assistance is available.

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There are three class levels in the Young Composers Project from which to choose. Each level studies a different topic in the first semester, and focuses on a major composition project in the second semester. Throughout the year, all students receive the special privilege of attending TSO dress rehearsals as well as concerts, and meeting and working with world-class guest artists, conductors, and composers. At the end of the year, each student’s composition will be performed publicly at the TSO Young Composers Festival and recorded by Tucson Symphony Orchestra musicians.

  • Introductory Class: Basic Theory
    • This class is for the youngest students and/or those with little to no theory or composition experience. As a final project, Intro students write a composition for the TSO String Quintet.
  • Intermediate Class: Composition
    • This level is for older students and/or those with some theory or composition experience. In the first semester, students participate in three workshop classes with TSO ensembles. As a final project, students can choose to write for TSO Wind Quintet or TSO Brass Quintet.
  • Advanced Class: Orchestration
    • This class is only for students who have previously completed the Intermediate level and/or have extensive experience composing for several different instruments. In the first semester, students participate in eight workshop classes with TSO musicians and ensembles. The final project is writing a composition for the full Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

If you are unsure which class level is best for you or your student, you can try out different classes during the first month’s trial period, before the drop deadline in October.

Get More Information about Young Composers Project

For any questions, please contact TSO Director of Education Alana Richardson at arichardson@tucsonsymphony.org.

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To see what the Young Composers Project is all about, check out our newly-premiered documentary, Orchestrating the Future: Tucson Symphony’s Young Composers Project.

The Young Composers Project is a year-long course where students learn to compose for orchestra while working alongside other young composers, orchestral musicians, conductors and contemporary composers. Musicians ages 8–18 explore the creative process of composition in the classroom and out: they attend TSO dress rehearsals and concerts, meet guest artists and composers, and work with TSO musicians. As the culminating final project, in May the TSO performs their original composition publicly and students receive a study recording of their newly created work! Now in its 28th year, the TSO Young Composers Project has produced more than 400 new works by young composers.

TSO provides 10 full and partial tuition scholarships to low income students. Support their education today with a donation!

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