In the Introductory Young Composers Project, you’ll learn the fundamentals of music theory and composition needed to succeed as a composer: melodic construction, development of motives, form and introductory instrumentation. The final project is a string quintet composition performed by the TSO String Quintet at the Young Composers Festival in May.

Meet the Instructor

Betsy Bright has been a member of the TSO trumpet section since 2003.  She studied composition at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia.  Betsy is passionate about every aspect of the composition process.  As a composer and arranger, Betsy composes for Monsoon Brass and Tucson Brass Workshop.  She enjoys teaching the fundamentals of composition and theory and, as a performer, she has premiered hundreds of compositions on stage.  Betsy has performed with orchestras across the United States including the San Diego Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, National Symphony, St Louis Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and AZ Opera.  Betsy has been a devoted music teacher for over 20 years.  In the past, she has worked with Opening Minds through the Arts and she served as adjunct faculty at the University of Arizona.  Betsy is the founder and director of Tucson Brass Workshop and she has led a thriving private trumpet studio since 1997.

2021–22 Class Schedule

Classes take place on the Fridays listed below, from 4:30–5:30 PM, at the Tucson Symphony Center (2175 N. 6th Ave). Deadlines are noted in blue.

Fall Semester, 2021

Sept. 3 – First Day of Class!
Sept. 10
Sept. 24
Oct. 1 – Tuition Payment Deadline. Last day to switch class levels or drop the class.
Oct. 8
Oct. 15
Oct. 22
Oct. 29
Nov. 5
Nov. 12
Nov. 19
Dec. 3
Dec. 10
Dec. 17

Spring Semester, 2022

Jan. 14
Jan. 21
Jan. 28 – Special Guests, TSO String Quintet
Feb. 4
Feb. 11
Feb. 18
Feb. 25 – NO CLASS
Mar. 4 – Special Guest, TSO Music Librarian
Mar. 11
Mar. 18 – Rough Draft Due
Mar. 25
Apr. 1
Apr. 8
Apr. 22 – Final Project Due
Apr. 29 – Final Assessment
May 7 – 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