Composition Institute

The Program

Brevard's composition faculty works closely with students and provides instruction through weekly private lessons and regular seminars. While in residence, students produce new works which are performed in a series of public concerts. In 2024, those performances will be:

  • One performance of a short piece for piano or voice by members of the Piano Institute and the Opera Institute
  • One performance of a piece for chamber ensemble by the New Music Ensemble
  • One reading session of a piece for large ensemble (symphonic orchestra, chamber orchestra, or wind ensemble)

Participants are also eligible for the Composition Competition. The winner will recieve a full scholarship to attend Brevard the following summer, where their piece will be premiered with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra in the "Soloists of Tomorrow" concert.

Composition students spend much of their time in the composition lab, a pair of adjoining rooms with MIDI keyboards and audio equipment. Students bring their own computers, and may elect to use their preferred notation software.

Each season Brevard invites renowned guest artists to present concerts, classes, and seminars focusing on new music and contemporary performance practices. Recent collaborators have included Sō Percussion, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Shanghai String Quartet, and Mason Bates.

Dates and Deadlines

Program Dates: June 21 - August 4, 2024
Deadline: February 15 - applications are closed for the 2024 season
Ages: 14-29
Scholarships: BMC offers both merit scholarship and financial aid support as part of the application process
Application fee: $65

2024 Faculty

Robert Aldridge, Professor and Head of Composition – Rutgers University

David Dzubay, Professor of Composition and Director of New Music Ensemble – Indiana University

Greg Simon, Associate Professor of Composition – University of Nebraska-Lincoln

2024 Guest Artist Residencies
Wynton Marsalis – Performances of his Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 4
Errollyn Wallen – World Premiere Violin Concerto with Philippe Quint
Claire Chase, flutist and MacArthur Fellowship Recipient – Classes and performances as part of a residency through Thomas C. Bolton Distinguished Artist Chair, a program supported by The Payne Fund. 

Audition Requirements

Admission to the Brevard Music Center is determined by audition. Composition applicants submit a dossier of works. 

Submit a portfolio that includes at least two scores and audio recordings. All files can be directly uploaded into your application. Once you upload one composition (PDF score + audio file), the application will save and allow you to upload additional files.

Tuition and Payment Schedule

Tuition for the six-week Composition Institute is $8950, less any scholarships received. The tuition fee includes all instruction, housing, meals, on-campus health services, and concert admission. Each participant is responsible for travel to and from Brevard.

A non-refundable enrollment fee of $950 is due within 10 days of acceptance and applies toward the cost of tuition. The remaining tuition balance is due by May 15.

2024 Arrival/Departure

Arrival is on Friday, June 21 with check-in between noon-5:00pm. 

Chorus update: Composition students are not required to participate in the BMC Chorus, but may choose to participate. In 2024, the Chorus will join the Brevard Music Center Orchestra in the season finale performance at 3:00pm on Sunday, August 4.

Departure for composition students not in the chorus is on August 3, 4, or 5. All students must depart by the afternoon of Monday, August 5.

Flying in? Students can fly in and out of the Asheville, North Carolina airport (AVL). BMC provides an airport shuttle for $15 each way to and from the AVL airport, and shuttle registration is available through MyBMC.


All payments, except the $65 application fee and $950 enrollment fee, will be fully refunded if the Center receives notice of cancellation due to serious illness before May 15. Written verification from an M.D. is required before a refund can be made. No reduction in fees can be made for late arrival or early departure. No refunds will be made after May 15.


Brevard Music Center offers scholarship support according to a student's audition and demonstrated financial need, and program need. In recent years, Brevard has provided scholarship support to more than 70% of its students. Scholarship support includes merit, need-based, and the BMC Opportunity Scholarship open to students of African-American and Latinx descent.

Please visit the Scholarship section of our FAQ page for more information.

Teaching Assistants and Resident Assistants

Brevard Music Center students in the College division may apply to serve as Teaching Assistants (TA) or Resident Assistants (RA). TAs and RAs have the same composing and performance opportunities as other students. TAs and RAs must pay a non-refundable enrollment fee of $950 which covers tuition, room, and board, and must be 21 or older by the start date of their program.

Teaching Assistants

Two TA positions are available in the Composition program. Duties for teaching assistants may include teaching theory classes, coaching younger students, and assisting faculty. 

Resident Assistants

A limited number of RA positions are available. Brevard's RAs supervise student living quarters and provide guidance to younger students. Two RAs live in each high school residence; one RA lives in each college residence. 

Selected individuals will participate in a telephone interview, and, if chosen, submit to a formal background check and participate fully in the RA orientation sessions prior to student arrival. Note: All Resident Assistants, including composition RAs, must arrive on Monday, June 10 and depart on Tuesday, August 6, 2024.

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