The Catholic University of America

Welcome to the Music Composition Area at CUA! 

Composition Calendar
  |  Media  |  Careers in Composition

Student SCI Chapter  |  New Voices Festival

There are as many ways to make music as there are composers.
At CUA, we pride ourselves on helping you find your creative voice.  You will experience your own music in performance, discover the dynamic modern world of the arts in Washington D.C. and beyond, challenge yourself to master the tools of your craft, and create your own artistic identity in the supportive atmosphere of our studios.

Compose -
Innovate - Learn - Perform



(For more, visit our Announcements and News Archives)

24-Hour Musical
Sat. & Sun. September 18 - 19, 2015
Come hear the annual Center Stage presentation of a CUA composition division tradition where musical scenes are composed and performed within a 24-hour period.
Start time: tba
Ward Hall, Ward Recital Hall
Admission is free.

CUA Senior Matthew Yost wins 50th Anniversary Composition Competition

In a blind juried review, senior composition major Matthew Yost’s Ut Sol, Ut Luna was named the winner of the Benjamin T Rome School of Music 50th Anniversary Composition Competition. The prize, created in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Music School achieving School status at the The Catholic University of America, carries with it the honor of opening the Music School’s Kennedy Center concert on April 12, 2015, along with a $1000 award.

Yost, a music student hailing from Salt Lake City, UT, who spent the previous fall semester studying in Rome, was chosen out of a pool of applicants ranging from current students to alums from the early 1960s. Orchestral Fanfare for a Scholarly Celebration, by William Popp (DMA, 1997), was named the runner up, and Celebration,by Anthony Doherty (BM, 1964), received an honorable mention. The jury included composition faculty members Robert Baker, Stephen Gorbos, and Andrew Simpson, along with the CUA Symphony Orchestra’s conductor Simeone Tartaglione and Baltimore composer Alexandra Gardner.

Read the current CUA Success Story column on Matt here for more about this emerging young composer.

String Orchestra Student Composition Reading Session
Thurs. April 23, 2015
Come hear our Spring String Orchestral Readings Session featuring new works by CUA Undergraduate and Graduate composition students performed by the CUA Symphony Orchestra strings and percussion. 5:00 - 7:00 pm, Ward Hall, John Paul Rehearsal Hall, Rm 220 Admission is free, and open to the CUA community.

Composition Division Spring Recital
Fri. April 17, 2015
Come hear brand new new works by CUA's composition Majors and Minors performed by CUA students in our Spring semester recital.

7:30 pm, Ward Hall recital Hall
Admission is free, and the public is welcome.
Reception to follow.

New Morse Code Duo in Concert
Tues. March 31, 2015
The Composition Division is delighted to host this cutting edge cello and percussion duo, performing new and recent works including the world premiere of CUA faculty Dr. Stephen Gorbos' new work, Transit.

7:30 pm, Ward Hall Recital Hall
Admission is free, and the public is welcome.

14 Stations of the Cross - 14 Premieres for String Quartet

Fri. February 20, 2015
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the B. T. Rome School of Music, the Composition Division presents fourteen newly commissioned short string quartets by faculty, students and alum, in a special Devotional Service focussed on the 14 Stations of the Cross. Come hear these brand new new works, each inspired by an individual station and performed by our CUA Graduate Student String Quartet, interspersed with readings of the stations by Celebrant and Pastor Msgr. Peter Vaghi.

7:00 pm, Church of the Little Flower, 5607 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda, MD. All are welcome.

Senior Composition Recital
Sun. January 25, 2015
Matt Yost's Senior Composition Recital will feature chamber and vocal music composed throughout his degree program, performed by CUA students.

5:00 pm, Ward Recital Hall
Admission is free, and the public is welcome.


For past events, visit our Announcements and News Archives.




Excerpt from the manuscript of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire (above) held in the Library of Congress, Music Reading Room, Washington D.C.

our programs at a glance

We also cooperate with the Institute of Sacred Music to offer lessons and artistic support for those pursuing the MM and DMA degrees in Sacred Music with an emphasis in Composition.

Contact composition

Professor Andrew E. Simpson
Head, Division of Theory-Composition
Ward Hall 28
Benjamin T. Rome School of Music
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20064

Phone: 202-319-5564
Fax: 202-319-6280

Watch a video introduction to the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music''s distinct architectural features