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San Francisco Conservatory of Music Announces Technology, Applied Composition Program

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) announces a new undergraduate degree program in Technology and Applied Composition (TAC). The curriculum integrates compositional craft with music technology to develop a new generation of composers adept in the fields of concert music, sound design and film and videogame scoring. The Conservatory is now accepting applications for the inaugural Class of 2015.

Students will be taught production practices, music theory, ear training and orchestration as well as critical thinking skills and sound business practices. They will study virtual and acoustic instrument design, learn to improvise, and assimilate the history of film and videogame aesthetics. Working in a set of state-of-the-art audio labs, aspiring composers will learn to use the computer and recording studio as instruments to conceive and perform original acoustic and electronic music.

“The innovative nature of this program will unite a world-class conservatory experience with the aesthetics and tools of twenty-first century composition,” says SFCM President David H. Stull. “For the creative individual seeking a comprehensive education in a city that leads the world in technology and new media, there is no better opportunity.”

A Mixing Classroom is equipped with a 32-channel Neve console.

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Conservatory of Music

To support the program, SFCM is constructing four studios featuring equipment from sponsors Meyer Sound, sE Electronics and Rupert Neve Designs. SFCM states that the studios will be complete this fall. Facilities include a Digital Audio Keyboard Lab with 14 stations offering Apple computers, software, and digital pianos; an acoustically tempered Live Room with grand piano available for recording projects and the rehearsal of electro-acoustic music; a Mixing Classroom for recording and teaching that is networked to the school’s three performance halls and equipped with a 32-channel Neve console, a Meyer HD 5.1 surround sound monitoring system and Moog synthesizers; and a Premium Listening Suite with 5.1 surround sound and computers running orchestral sample libraries designed for editing, mastering and post-production work by visiting artists, students and faculty.

The program will offer certification exams in Logic ProX, Final Cut Pro and Pro Tools, and courses using Cycling ’74’s Max/MSP visual programming language. Resident faculty will be joined by visiting professionals, who will evaluate student portfolios. At every stage of training, students will create music appropriate to the specific artistic, technical and practical requirements of each project.

Guest faculty and artists will be drawn from industry leaders, including Electronic Arts and Skywalker Sound.

“I am delighted to see the launch of such an innovative program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music,” says Larry Probst, Executive Chairman of Electronics Arts. “This will provide the opportunity for Electronic Arts to work closely with exceptionally talented young artists who aspire to work in our industry. It will undoubtedly offer a unique curriculum featuring state-of-the-art tools and techniques that will attract top talent from around the world.”

“The mixing of music and technology is a natural evolution for such an esteemed institution as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, says Leslie Ann Jones, director of Music Recording and Scoring at Skywalker Sound, a multiple Grammy Award-winning recording engineer and artistic advisor to the TAC program. “This new program will ensure that students are provided with the tools they need to compete now and in the future. I look forward to working with President Stull and the Conservatory faculty on this effort.”

SFCM states that applicants who apply for fall 2015 admission by the early action deadline of December 1 receive priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, and notification of admission and financial aid decisions by March 1, 2015. Those who apply by the extended deadline of February 1, 2015 receive admission and financial aid decisions by April 1, 2015.

To learn more about Technology and Applied Composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, visit

Watch the video ‘SFCM Introduces New Program in Technology and Applied Composition’ on YouTube.