UMKC Catalog


Bachelor of Music in Music Composition

Major status for the B.M. Music Composition degree is determined for new students (freshmen and transfer students) by the faculty through the standard admissions process. Students currently enrolled at UMKC who were accepted as majors in other programs, or students accepted into the composition class sequence as prospective composition majors, must petition the composition faculty for major status. The petition will include:
1. A portfolio of 2-3 representative scores and/or tape recordings of original work.
2. A complete list of original compositions by the petitioner.
3. Transcripts and other academic credentials.
4. A personal interview (at the discretion of the composition faculty).

Students may petition more than once, but the semester of the student's second 333 enrollment will be the last permissible attempt.  Students denied admission after this semseter may not petition again.  Undergraduate students without composition major status are welcome to take composition classes as often as they wish, though  in rare cases of full enrollment, preference may need to go to majors.


Normally, petitions will be considered during the spring semester as a part of the admissions review process for the coming year.
Maintenance of major status is required for eligibility for composition scholarships and fellowships. In order to maintain major status, two conditions must be met:

1) A minimum of a B- average in Music Theory classes (CONSVTY 121, CONSVTY 129A, CONSVTY 122, CONSVTY 129B, CONSVTY 221, CONSVTY 229A, CONSVTY 222A, CONSVTY 229B) must be maintained.
2) No grade below a B- may be received in any Composition class (CONSVTY 133, CONSVTY 134, CONSVTY 233, CONSVTY 234, CONSVTY 333, CONSVTY 433).

A student who fails to meet either or both of these conditions is considered to be on probation, and must retake classes or raise the average within one year to avoid loss of major status. If major status is revoked, it may only be reinstated by petition (as described above).

Required Courses:


minimum core requirements


In addition to core classes, the following courses are required for the B.M. in Music Composition.

Any foreign language 110 & 120, 10 hours


ENGLISH 300-level

CONSVTY 101-301 (a)

CONSVTY Ensemble (b) 

CONSVTY 110 Keyboard Skills I

CONSVTY 123 Keyboard Skills II

CONSVTY 223 Keyboard Skills III

CONSVTY 310 Keyboard Skills IV  (c)






CONSVTY 333 (See Major Status)




Electives                                     6


(a) Students majoring in composition must complete level 301 secondary in any applied area.

(b) Ensemble: Participation as a performer by enrollment in a major ensemble (other ensembles may be substituted for a major ensemble only by petition) for a minimum of four semesters is required. Four additional semesters (not necessarily major ensembles) must be fulfilled either through additional enrollment as a performer or through enrollment in CONSVTY 301G Ensemble for Composers, though a minimum of two semesters of CONSVTY 301G must be taken. It is expected that students enrolling for CONSVTY 301G more than once will observe a different ensemble or ensembles each time they enroll.

Participating ensembles include: Conservatory Orchestra, Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Conservatory Wind Symphony, Men's Chorus, Women's Chorus, Heritage Chorale, Jazz Band, Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Workshops, Canticum Novum, Musica Nova, Percussion Ensemble and Zephyr Quintet. (Others may be added as the course develops.)
Course enrollment is done through the appropriate student services coordinator in the Conservatory Academic Affairs Office, but assignment of students to particular ensembles will be done by the composition faculty in consultation with ensemble directors.
Composition faculty will be responsible for communicating with conductors regarding upcoming repertoire.

(c) Successful completion of CONSVTY 310, Keyboard Skills IV, with a grade of B- or better is required.

(d) The Area of Concentration is developed by the student before the end of the freshman year (or before the end of the first semester of CONSVTY study for transfer students) with guidance and approval of the composition faculty as a part of the planned program.