The Master of Music in Performance degree in the Hayes School of Music is based on the pillars of performance, entrepreneurship, scholarship and pedagogy, relevance, and wellness. These fundamental pillars support musicians in developing versatility and leadership for successful and independent performance careers in the 21st century. Close mentorship between the student and the faculty is central to the program, which facilitates exceptional opportunities to excel in the art of music.
The Masters in Music Composition is a two-year sequence during which students develop their craft by composing for a variety of instruments and ensembles. Masters students refine their compositional skill and personal voice through the creation of new works, collaboration with peers, and study of contemporary music. The composition program at Appalachian State embraces eclecticism and a diversity of stylistic influences and interests.
Masters students have individual weekly lessons and participate in the Composition Forum. Presentations of original work by students, faculty, and guest artists are an important part of the forum experience. Forums also include group improvisation, professional development activities, and lecture/discussions. Masters students are expected to begin their professional career through entering competitions, attending conferences and summer programs, developing a website, and collaborating with ensembles.
Investigate current compositional techniques, performance practices, and repertoire
Explore digital audio techniques and computer music in the Electronic Music Studio with access to recording studios and the multichannel Dolby Atmos Control Room
Composition students have the opportunity to present their music through composer forum concerts as well as performances by Hayes School of Music ensembles and visiting artists. Upcoming guests include ~Nois saxophone quartet and trombonist William Lang (loadbang)
Small class sizes in a supportive student and faculty community
Location in the Blue Ridge Mountains with a vibrant regional culture
Masters students are encouraged to consider completing the Graduate Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy Research and Practice.
Assistantships and teaching opportunities may be available. See below for further details.
Contact Dr. Nicholas Cline at email@example.com for more information or to schedule an interview.
Information for entrance into the graduate program in Fall 2023.
General Admission Requirements for graduate music programs in the Hayes School of Music.
Graduate Audition/Interview Requirements and instructions for applying the composition program.
All application materials must be submitted by February 1, 2023 in order to receive priority consideration for assistantships. Please see information below regarding the Tui St. George Tucker Award in Composition, a full assistantship with generous stipend.
An undergraduate degree in theory/composition is not required. Many of our incoming graduate students have either earned a BA or BM in theory/composition or studied composition at the undergraduate level for several semesters.
Degree Course Requirements
Course Requirements for the Master of Music in Performance Semester Hours Required (minimum): 32 to 35 - varies by concentration - see below.
Course Requirements for students who entered the program before Fall 2022 can be found here.
Music Composition Concentration (Code: 558Z)
Assistantships and Scholarships
View general Assistantship and Scholarship information
For Fall 2023, we have two full assistantships available through the Tui St. George Tucker Award in Composition. We seek creative student composers to join our vibrant community. This award includes full tuition funding (in-state or out-of-state) and a 9 month stipend of $10,500 per year for two years of study as well as opportunities for additional funding to support research and creative work.
These assistantships carry duties to support development and digitization of the Tui St. George Tucker Digital Collection. In addition to skill as a composer, we are seeking applicants with experience in and/or desire to learn about the process of archiving and digitizing musical scores, proficiency in a professional music notation software, and knowledge or interest in professional music preparation practices and digital collection management.
Tui St. George Tucker (1924-2004) was a virtuoso recorder player and a composer based in New York City and Blowing Rock, NC where she and her partner, Vera Lachmann, spent their summers. Her musical circle included John Cage, Fluxus artist Jackson Mac Low, German-born pianist Grete Sultan, who was a mentor to Cage, Johnny Reinhardt, Martha Bixler, as well as many others. Her musical style is eclectic, embracing tonality, microtonality, and dissonant counterpoint with influences from early music, jazz, and folk idioms. Her body of work includes music for recorders, piano, organ, solo voice, chorus, and chamber ensembles.