Studio composition at Purchase College began in 1986, on the 100th anniversary of the first viable sound recording.

The studio composition program provides talented and ambitious writers with intensive preparation in the craft of musical composition, especially in the recorded media. The hallmarks of this program are:

  • hands-on studio experience
  • thorough training in conventional and unconventional music
  • small-group study with acclaimed professional writers
  • a working community of artistic peers
  • a tradition of alumni success

In sum, the studio composition program offers a friendly, artistic community whose tradition of excellence produces hundreds of new musical compositions every year.

All studio composers write and produce two significant original projects (undergraduate) or two master’s recitals (graduate). These can be either recorded, reviewed in score form, or performed live. Many studio composition recitals feature multimedia collaboration with students in the other arts conservatories at Purchase College. Other recitals may occur at clubs and concert venues in New York City, as well as in professional recording studios. The program also functions closely with the studio production program, and collaborative accomplishment between these two programs is typical in classes, concerts, and recording sessions.

Three decades after the program’s inception, studio composition alumni and former students are working in the music industry in New York City, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, and Tokyo and touring internationally. They are composers and recording artists, orchestrators and arrangers, producers and executives, DJs and MCs, interactive technology designers, authors and educators. They include (to name a few): Jay Azzolina, Sébastian Bardin, Susie Bench, David Bianciardi, Dan CastellaniCharlie B. Dahan, Jack D. Elliot, Lucy (DeJesus) KalantariMitski Miyawaki, Jarrett Mumford (J-Zone), Dan Romer, Hanan RubensteinJohn Selway, Maya SolovéyRegina Spektor, Bill Youngman, Jenny Owen Youngs, Jeremy Wall, Rich Westover, and Saundi Wilson.