School of Music

Bachelor of Music in Composition

Music composition is a professional activity cultivated through internship, mentorship, and hands-on experiences, created through collaborative efforts of professional musicians, expert ensembles, and published composers. 

The Bachelor of Music degree is designed to accommodate a wide spectrum of student interests and experience within a rigorous, yet a supportive program of study. While composition lessons are balanced with group seminars, master-classes, and workshops, students also pursue intensive training in Harmony, Musicianship, Orchestration, and Electronic/Computer Music.

Career development is an emphasized portion of the curriculum as all undergraduate composers are encouraged to take advantage of the many unprecedented performances and professional development opportunities available to them at Cleveland State.
Current full-time program faculty are nationally and globally recognized composers who have received many distinguished awards. Dr. Rindfleisch and Dr. D’Alessio have numerous published works which are performed around the world annually. Their professional lives enhance the CSU Composition Program because their professional network provides mentors and career models for students in the program.

Three signature efforts comprise the immersive education Composition Majors experience at CSU School of Music. Created and facilitated by Dr. Rindfleisch since the mid-2000s, these unique opportunities set the CSU composition education apart from other regional programs.

Music Composition Resource Center

Designed by Professor Andrew Rindfleisch, and opened in 2005; the Music Composition Resource Center is an unprecedented professional development center for use by undergraduate and graduate students studying music composition at Cleveland State.

The Center offers a large dedicated studio space with digital printing machines, binding supplies, keyboards, audio equipment, and multiple computer stations with all the latest music notation software used in the professional world of music-making.  The Music Composition Resource Center will aid the student in all the following areas:

  • Professional production of musical scores
  • Professional production of recordings
  • Application to fellowship and grant foundations
  • Application to graduate schools
  • Application to summer festivals
  • Sending work to performers and ensembles
  • Giving students the ability to effectively network within the profession

Emphasizing career development, the Music Composition Resource Center remains an unprecedented aspect to composition studies at Cleveland State University and is one of the only such Centers in the country.


Collaboration with Faculty and School of Music Ensembles

Faculty colleagues across disciplines and ensemble directors create and present annual workshops designed to perform and record students’ compositions.

CSU Contemporary Artist in Residency Program

The Artist in Residency Program brings the finest professional musical artists, composers, and performers from around the country and abroad to CSU’s School of Music every year. Over 100 professional composers have visited the composition studio since this program began, including 6 Pulitzer Prize-Winning composers. Student composers interact with visiting professionals through music presentations, technical composition discussions, and insightful career advice and ideas. In addition, many of these guest composers give individual lessons to our student composers.

John Zorn Masterclass

John Zorn

Chen Yi


Rascher Quartet

Rascher Quartet –
Student Composer Workshop

Milton Babbitt

Milton Babbit at 90–


No Exit Ensemble

Electronic and Computer Music at Cleveland State

Computer-based technology is the single most rapidly increasing element of contemporary life, and the composition program at Cleveland State is designed to instruct and prepare students to operate within the context of the very best available current technology. The electronic and computer music facilities at CSU, designed by Professor Greg D’Alessio, contain a wide range of significant new technology for the creation of computer and electro-acoustic music.  The intermediate studio is equipped with two Midi/audio work-stations with multiple synthesizers and software synthesis applications designed to assist student composers in the initial stages of experimentation. The advanced studio contains both an extensive Midi station as well as a dedicated multi-track digital audio station. All instruction is grounded in aesthetic as well as technological concerns. Performance opportunities are also available as concerts of electronic and electro-acoustic music are given regularly.


RindfleischDr. Andrew Rindfleisch,
PhD, Harvard University
Professor and Coordinator of Composition; Director, Cleveland Contemporary Players
DAlessioDr. Greg D’Alessio,
DMA, Columbia University
Professor of Composition
RubinDr. Corey K. Rubin,
DM in Composition, Indiana University 
StanzianoDr. Stephen Stanziano,
PhD, Kent State University

For more information (such as degree requirements and course descriptions) visit the online Undergraduate Catalog, or view a pdf version of the School of Music's Undergraduate Handbook.