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EIU Department of Music

Composition at EIU

Students who want to pursue music composition at Eastern should enroll in the Bachelor of Music with Performance Option; Composition Concentration. Composition students at EIU receive one-on-one instruction in composition. They are also members of the studio of their primary instrument. Recitals for students in the composition concentration feature a combination of studio repertoire and original compositions. In addition, Composers' Forum concerts each semester showcase the work of all student composers, who organize the rehearsal and production of their works. Any compositional style is acceptable, and work with electronic media is encouraged.


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Prospective composition majors should submit a portfolio of any completed original compositions, either electronically or through the mail, to Dr. Brad Decker ( Recordings, if available, are also welcome. Portfolio submissions should be sent during the application process, and before your scheduled audition and meeting (explained below).

Since the Composition Concentration is within the Music Performance degree, prospective students must also audition on their primary instrument. For these requirements, contact the appropriate applied instructor.

On the day of your audition, arrange for a meeting with Dr. Decker to discuss your interests in composition, your submitted portfolio (if available), and the composition program in general. The purpose of this meeting is to determine if the Composition Concentration is a good fit for your interests and abilities, and to see if we think you would be successful as a composition major.

Students who do not have any previous experience in composition, but are nevertheless interested in majoring in composition, are encouraged to apply on their primary instrument and arrange to meet with Dr. Decker as stated above. However, it is typically best to take at least one semester of Musicianship (Theory and Aural Skills) and other introductory music classes before enrolling in composition courses. MUS 1560, Introduction to Composition, is intended to be taken after at least one semester of study as a Music Major. 

Please contact Dr. Bradley Decker for more information. 

Composers' Forums:


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Contact Information

Music Department

Doudna Fine Arts Center
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

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