American Festival for the Arts, 2007 Summer Music Conservatory and Concert Series


Click here to download the 2007 Piano/Composition brochure (PDF)

Conservatory Dates
June 11 - July 14, 2007 (five weeks)

Mon., June 11, 2007

Daily Hours
8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., M-F

$875 (scholarships are available)

Areas of Study

Graduating 8th - graduating 12th grades

Department Description
AFA’s Composition program gives young composers of varying experience and ability level a thorough introduction to the art of composing music. Students take part in intensive seminars and both group and individual lessons to develop and refine the skills needed to compose, notate and prepare a piece of their own music for performance.

Private Instruction
All students receive a minimum of five private lessons during the festival. This focused, one-on-one instruction helps students address individual musical goals. Each student creates a minimum of one new work during the Conservatory that is ultimately read, recorded and performed by members of the Conservatory faculty.

Repertory Class
Taught by a rotating faculty, composers receive a thorough introduction to music of the twentieth century. Specific focus on works of the last fifty years is addressed including the contemporary symphony, opera, chamber music, piano repertory and the influence of world music on Western art music.

Reading Sessions
All composition students receive readings and recordings of works completed during the Conservatory. These sessions, not intended as professional recording sessions, give composers a valuable opportunity to hear their work in progress and to receive feedback from professional musicians on their work.

Orchestra Readings/Orchestration Projects
Time permitting, all students complete short arrangements of works to be read by the AFA Conservatory Orchestra. This is a unique opportunity for composers to gain experience working in the medium of full orchestra. A reading session of orchestration projects is usually scheduled during the last week of the Conservatory. At the discretion of the faculty, selected composers may be given permission to write short orchestral works that will be read by the AFA Conservatory Orchestra during the final week of the program. Advanced students may also be offered an opportunity to compose a short work for orchestra to be premiered on a conservatory season concert or read as part of an extended reading session.

Composition Symposium
Composition symposium is a daily seminar in which composers learn about the various components involved in the process of composing music. Seminar topics include counterpoint, harmony, orchestration, form and analysis, computer-based applications and developmental skills. Aspects of the music industry that are relevant to young composers will also be addressed including competitions, membership organizations, publishing and college/conservatory programs.

Houston Ballet Academy Collaboration
AFA’s on-going collaboration with the Ben Stevenson Houston Ballet Academy (HBA) gives composers a unique opportunity to collaborate with student choreographers and
create new works for music and dance. Final works are premiered at the AFA World Premieres Concert and at the Houston Ballet Academy.

2007 Enrollment Quotas
The 2007 Conservatory will enroll a maximum of eight (8) composers. All composition applicants must submit scores and/or recordings (MIDI realizations acceptable) for review in advance of a live interview with AFA Composition faculty. Early applications are encouraged.