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.

2020-21 Class Schedule

All classes are held remotely with Zoom on Fridays from 4:30-5:30 PM.

Oct. 2 – First Class

Oct. 9
Oct. 16
Oct. 23 – Class Change/Payment Due Deadline
Oct. 30
Nov. 6
Nov. 13
Nov. 20
Dec. 4
Dec. 11

Jan. 15
Jan. 22
Feb. 5
Feb. 19 – Guest Speaker TSO Orchestra Librarian, Carrie White
Mar. 5
Mar. 12 – Rough Draft Due
Mar. 26
Apr. 9
Apr. 16
Apr. 23 – Final Project Due
Apr. 30
May 7 – Final Assessment
May 15 – Student Bios and Headshots Due (No Class)

Rehearsals – Remote Session via Zoom
String Quintet Rehearsal: May 11, 7 – 8 PM

Private Viewing Party – Remote Session via Zoom
Intro Class Viewing Party: June 5, 1 PM

Public Digital Release – TSO Website and Social Media
Intro Class Performances: June 8, 2021

For the first time ever, TSO Young Composers Project will be adding a few optional sessions during the summer months, open to all 2020-21 students.

Conducting Workshop with Music Director Jose Luis Gomez
June 5, 10 – 11 AM – Remote via Zoom

Meet Maestro Gomez and learn about what conductors look for in new music scores, how they rehearse ensembles, and try on a few conducting moves of your own.

Student Think Tank Session
June 26, 1 – 3 PM – Remote via Zoom

Now in its 28th year, the Young Composers Project is in a time of growth and change. As improvements and additions to the program are considered, it is vital that YOU, the composers, have your voices heard. This “think tank” session will be a collaborative student effort reflecting on all aspects the program – what is working, what could be improved, and what you would like to see it become for other students following in your footsteps.

This student-led session is not mandatory, but it is a platform upon which to share your thoughts and opinions. The feedback and ideas provided during the session will be used by TSO Director of Education to continue to advocate for new ways the program can benefit and represent its students. A 2019 student think tank led to the addition of the Intermediate Level class, hiring another composition instructor, and increased musician involvement in the program – all based on student suggestions!