Composition at Sewanee
The Composition Program at SSMF offers two tracks for program participation.

Composition Track

New for Summer 2021- online composition program.

Online Program tuition – $1250 total, for a 4-week online experience

We are happy to offer a new online experience this summer, during the 2021 Festival Season. Students registered in the online composition program will have the following opportunities:

2 weekly individual lessons
Access to all the composers’ seminars meetings, typically twice a week
Access and participation to the writing for media workshop (week 2) with Vincent Oppido
Digital access to all the faculty concerts during the Festival
Contact information for performers looking to premiere new music works during the summer.
Participation in the collaboration between composers and the SSMF Opera Project (for a limited number of participants).
Access to master classes with guest artists
online composition students will also have a chance to participate in the annual composers concert.
Apply to the composition program. Once your application is complete and admission is determined, you will be notified and asked to pay a deposit of $500.00 and the balance of your tuition $750.00

Information below is for our on campus program

Students selected to study composition at Sewanee will have multiple opportunities to have their music performed, workshopped and coached during the festival. Students will enjoy weekly lessons and seminar with program coordinator Jorge Variego and have ample time to study, compose, and collaborate with fellow students and faculty members. The program is capped at four student composers in the composition track in order to allow ample time for reading sessions, rehearsals, and performances. Program highlights include:

  • Reading session with the Sewanee Symphony
  • Chamber music performances on the student chamber music series
  • Master classes in contemporary composition and performance techniques with selected festival faculty
  • Composition studio recital
  • Private lessons
  • Group seminar
Program Coordinator
Jorge Variego
Jorge looks at the camera holding his bass clarinet
Tuition and Fees

$3,950.00 covers all tuition, housing, and meals during the program.

Summer Festival alumni ( 2018, 2019, 2020) who apply by March 15th will receive a $500 credit to their tuition. This tuition credit does not apply to winter festival participants.

Audition requirements

Composition applicants should submit scores of  PDF ’s two contrasting works written for solo, chamber or large ensemble ( orchestra, chamber orchestra or wind band). Recordings or midi realizations are not required but encouraged. In addition, two letters of recommendation are required.

Optional, but suggested for additional scholarship consideration, submit a video of a recent performance on your primary instrument.

Application Fees and Deadlines

Feb 15th, 2021 ( $35.00 app fee)

  • Priority application deadline
  • Scholarship available for all studios
  • Deadline for SSMF Summer 2020 students to let us know if they would like their deposit and scholarship honored from 2020

March 15th, 2021 ($35.00 app fee)

  • Final application deadline
  • Scholarship available for some studios

After March 15th, 2021 ($75.00 app fee)

  • Applications after March 15th will be accepted on a case by case basis with limited scholarship availability. Some studios will be full.

Supplemental Study in Composition

Instrumental festival participants may register for composition seminar and lessons for an additional fee.  Students studying composition in this format will have the opportunity to attend the composition seminar, weekly private lessons, and compose for the seminar-workshop ensemble.

*Please note: if you are a composition student, lessons and seminar are included in your program experience. 

Program costs, Supplimental study in composition*

Information on program costs will be posted soon.

*Please note, scholarship funding is not available for supplemental study in composition.

For program questions, please contact Jorge Variego.

For all other program questions, please contact the Festival office.