In the Intermediate Young Composers Project, you’ll focus on the fundamentals of composition needed to succeed as a composer, building on the basics of the Introductory level class: melodic construction, development of motives, form and instrumentation. The final project is a wind quintet or brass quintet composition performed by the TSO Ensembles at the Young Composers Festival in May.

Meet the Instructor

Zachary Van Houten grew up as a classically-trained pianist from Provo, Utah. Today, he is a composer, educator, and French horn player in Tucson, Arizona where he teaches band, orchestra, and AP Music Theory at BASIS Tucson North and teaches composition for the Young Composers Project with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. He received a DMA in Music Composition, with a minor in Horn performance from the University of Arizona in 2018, studying with composer Daniel Asia. He has a Master’s and Bachelor’s in Music Composition from Brigham Young University where he worked with Steven Ricks, Christian Asplund, Neil Thornock, and Michael Hicks. In 2018, he was the Daveen Fox Composer-in-Residence at the University of Arizona. In 2016, he participated in a series of masterclasses in Berlin with the Berlin Philharmonic horn section. In 2012, he was part of a music-intensive study abroad in Vienna. He has also performed in Japan, South Korea, Austria, Germany, and Italy.

2022–23 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, 2022

September 3 – First Day of Class
September 10
September 17
September 24 – TSO String Quintet @ 10:00 AM
October 1 – Last Day to Drop, Tuition Due
October 8
October 15 – TSO Wind Quintet @ 10:00 AM
October 22
October 29
November 5 – TSO Brass Quintet @ 10:00 AM
November 12 – Special Guest: TBA
November 19
November 26 – No Class
December 3
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
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.