Compose Yourself Summer Composers Intensive

The American Composers Orchestra presents
Compose Yourself! for High School Students

Six seminar-style sessions designed to help young composers develop positive approaches to creativity, learn professional standards of notation, and develop strong orchestration technique in a supportive, hands-on environment

Classes will be on Mondays and Thursdays
August 2, 6, 9, 16, 20 *
10 AM-1 PM 
(please be prepared for the possibility of some extended sessions to accommodate extra time with guest composers)
Classes will be held at Columbia University

Our final session will be on the morning of Thursday August 23. That afternoon we’ll have a Reading Session of new works (time TBD)

Program features:

  • Reading and performance of resulting student works played by professional musicians.
  • Reading session is recorded for inclusion in college portfolios, competitions and the like
  • Classes are limited to no more than 8 students in order assure personalized attention
  • Visits by renowned guest composers take place during extended sessions (1-2pm)


  • Students from 8th-12th grades are welcome.
  • Students are required to attend ALL sessions.
  • Students will be asked to develop an original ensemble piece from front to finish during the course of the workshops. Students may begin sketching ahead of time.

Since a great deal of our learning will result from experiencing how musicians respond to our notation – we may ask students to bring their instruments to class for one or another of the sessions.

Workshops will be led by the American Composers Orchestra Education Director, Kevin James.

Tuition**: $250

Deadline to register is Thursday, June 1

Register Now

Mr. James will be in touch with further details after receiving your completed registration

*If we have larger than expected registration, a second class may be added. In this case classes may take place in the afternoons on the dates listed OR on different days during the same weeks.
**The American Composers Orchestra is committed to making these workshops available to all interested students. Scholarships are available in cases of financial hardship.