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

2021–22 Class Schedule

Classes take place on the Saturdays listed below, from 1:00–3:00 PM, at the Tucson Symphony Center (2175 N. 6th Ave). Deadlines are noted in blue.

Fall Semester, 2021

Sept. 4 – First Day of Class!
Sept. 11
Sept. 18 – String Quintet
Sept. 25 – Piano/Keyboard
Oct. 2 – Tuition Payment Deadline. Last day to switch class levels or drop the class.
Oct. 9 – Timpani
Oct. 16 – Wind Quintet
Oct. 23
Oct. 30 – TSO Brass Quintet
Nov. 6 – Percussion
Nov. 13 – Low Brass
Nov. 20
Dec. 4
Dec. 11 – Harp
Dec. 18 – Horns

Spring Semester, 2022

Jan. 15
Jan. 22
Jan. 29
Feb. 5
Feb. 12
Feb. 19
Feb. 26 – NO CLASS
Mar. 5 – Special Guest, TSO Music Librarian
Mar. 12 
Mar. 19 – Rough Draft Due

Mar. 26
Apr. 2
Apr. 9
Apr. 23 – Final Project Due
Apr. 30 – Final Assessment
May 8 – Festival Prep

2021–22 Young Composers Festival

This year, for the first time ever, we are partnering with the American Composers Orchestra’s EarShot program. Students will have the opportunity to meet with professional composers from across the country, and witness the EarShot 2022 Reading Sessions. Watch how new professional compositions get read, rehearsed, and edited during the first half of the Festival week, and then it’s your turn! The Tucson Symphony Orchestra will read, rehearse, and record your compositions, and you’ll get feedback from the EarShot composers as well!

EarShot 2022

May 17-19

Young Composers Festival

May 20-22