Learn the Language of Music

Using comprehensive training, performance and instruction from renowned faculty, you’ll be exposed to a wide range of music and learn the fundamentals of composition, music history and theory to develop the aural skills needed to be a successful musician.

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Major Requirements

The theory/composition major will develop your theoretical knowledge for the continuing study and performance of music, analytical and esthetic understanding of music forms and styles, and foster your creativity in music. Students participate in bi-weekly forums with guest composers and perform three composition concerts per year.

How to Apply

View requirements, application deadlines and steps to apply.

Find Your Perfect Music Career

The rigorous training and studies that Theory/Composition graduates receive enable them to enter various careers that allow them to exercise their creativity. Recent graduates of our program have also advanced to pursue master’s degrees in film scoring, music therapy and musicology. 

Common Careers

  • Arts administrator
  • Arts educator
  • Choral conductor
  • Music publisher
  • Songwriter
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Being a pianist actually introduced me to composition and being able to study with someone like Dr. Young opened my eyes to a new world of history, harmony, technique, and countless memorable moments from our lessons.”
James Morris '20

Noteworthy Achievements

Students work with faculty to compose various works during their course of study. Some of these works have been published, performed by Westminster’s choirs, and even used as new pieces for commencement and opening convocations.

Student Achievements

  • The Marquette Symphony commissioned Thomas LaVoy to write a 50-minute oratorio that premiered in 2013
  • Alan Schlichting and John Franek have won the Emerging Artists Awards from the Clifton Foundation in 2015
  • Zion Lutheran Church and Gene Trantham have both sponsored composition competitions for WCC student composers

Foster Your Creative Impulse

With access to Westminster’s music computing center, students have the opportunity to compose, orchestrate and print their compositions in publishable quality using computers interfaced with sampler/synthesizers as well as sequencing and music printing software.

Westminster’s choral ensembles and soloists also regularly perform works composed by current students. Compositions by current students have been published by GIA Music. 


Theory and Composition (B.M.)

Sharon Mirchandani

Professor and Chair

Omega 206

smirchandani [at] rider.edu

609-921-7100 x8313

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