The Advanced Young Composers Project focuses on orchestration: covering the principals of harmony, voice leading, form, score reading and ear training. You’ll compose short works for each class which are played by visiting TSO ensembles. The final project this year is a unique challenge: a conducted, mixed ensemble of 7-10 musicians of your choice, performed by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra at the Young Composers Festival in May. Many graduates from this program have continued to pursue composition at the undergraduate and graduate level at universities and conservatories across the United States.

Meet the Instructor

Inspired by the renegade eloquence of the American vernacular, the music of composer Vincent Calianno (b. 1979) “blurs the boundaries between fine art and popular culture” (VICE), through kaleidoscopic colorings, muscular rhythms, extreme stasis and motion, while curiously investigating new musical possibilities through new practices and obsolescent technologies. Calianno’s music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Thalea String Quartet, JACK Quartet, Nouveau Classical Project, Ensemble Mise-en, Jennifer Koh, John Pickford Richards, Kivie Cahn-Lipman, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Artifact Dance Project, and others. In addition to his concert works, Calianno has an active career in scoring for film and new media. His credits include music for Adecco, Morgan Stanley, and AlixPartners campaigns, as well as films and dramatic podcasts. His awards include the ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Prize, the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Award, and the Sarah Award for Best New Podcast.

Calianno holds degrees in composition from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music, University of Illinois, and New York University. In 2019, Calianno co-founded Two Trains, a hybrid music-theatre-dance project focused on abstract and inventive storytelling through the combined expressions of imagery and sound. For more information, visit

2022–23 Class Schedule

Classes take place on the Saturdays listed below, from 10:00 AM–12:00 PM, at the Tucson Symphony Center (2175 N. 6th Ave). Deadlines are noted in blue.

Fall Semester, 2022

September 3 – First Day of Class
September 10
September 17
September 24 – TSO String Quintet
October 1 – Last Day to Drop, Tuition Due
October 8 – TSO Timpanist
October 15 – TSO Wind Quintet
October 22
October 29
November 5 – TSO Brass Quintet
November 12 – Special Guest: TBA
November 19
November 26 – No Class
December 3 – TSO Harpist
December 10
December 17
December 24 – No Class
December 31 – No Class

Spring Semester, 2023

January 7
January 14
January 21 – Guest Speaker: TSO Librarian
January 28
February 4
February 11
February 18 – Special Guest: TBA
February 25 – No Class
March 4
March 11 – Guest Speaker: Dan Coleman, TSO Composer in Residence
March 18
March 25 – Special Guest: TBA
April 1 – Rough Draft Due
April 8 – No Class
April 15 – Guest Speaker: TSO Stage Manager and Education Director
April 22
April 29 – Final Project Due
May 6
May 13

2022–23 Young Composers Festival

May 19–21, 2023

May 19, 2023, 7:00 PM at Tucson Symphony Center
May 20, 2023, 7:00 PM at Tucson Symphony Center
May 21, 2023, 2:00 PM at Leo Rich Theatre

Works by Introductory and Intermediate students will be performed on May 19 and 20 by TSO chamber ensembles and works by Advanced students will be performed by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra on May 21. Please consider attending all three days to support your peers!

Students will be invited to attend select rehearsals and concerts throughout the year, all free of charge. Dates and additional information will be announced in-class.