Young Composers Project at The Hartt School Community Division
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Young Composers Project


The Young Composers Project (YCP) is for students in grades 7–12 (or homeschool equivalents). The Summer Edition is open to students entering 7th grade and high-school seniors who have just graduated.

The 2017–18 academic-year program runs from Sunday, Nov. 4 to Sunday, May 13, 4:15–5:15 p.m. 

Download the 2017–18 YCP calendar (PDF).


YCP is for students with an interest in

  • learning to express themselves through music
  • gaining a deeper understanding of how music works
  • sharing their music with other students
  • studying with active and enthusiastic mentor composers
  • working with professional musicians
  • hearing their music realized in live performance

What is the Young Composers Project?

Young Composers Project

The Young Composers Project inspires students in grades 7–12 to express themselves creatively in music. This unique program is designed for students of all experience levels and aims to provide each student with the skills necessary to develop his or her own voice as a composer. The course of study found in YCP not only helps prepare students for future compositional work (such as collegiate study or a career in composition), it also deepens their understanding of music, allowing them to grow as performers and listeners.

Class Meetings

Young Composers Project 2015

Academic-year YCP participants work in small groups with one of the faculty composers in one-hour classes from October to May. The program is directed by Jessica Rudman, Ph.D, an accomplished composer and theorist. Ken Steen, Professor of Composition and Theory at The Hartt School and an active composer who creates music in a variety of genres and styles, serves as advisor.  

The small class size fosters a collaborative environment and allows students to spend a considerable amount of time on personal projects. Class time is typically divided between instruction on various compositional techniques and group discussion of the students' in-progress pieces.

Participants will learn to use relevant music software to communicate their musical ideas. While students are welcome to use any software they prefer, we are able to offer each YCP participant one free Premium membership ($50 value) to the web-based notation program Noteflight for the duration of the class.

In addition to the regular class meetings, YCP also includes a number of special activities for the students. In the past, these have included a special reading/recording session in which advanced students performed each others’ works, master classes with visiting composers, behind-the-scenes visits to rehearsals of local ensembles, and workshops with performers.

Classes will be held on Tuesdays from 7:30–8:30 p.m. and Sundays from 4:15–5:15 p.m. Students who are interested in participating but cannot attend one of those times should contact Program Director Jessica Rudman at to be placed on an interest list. Additional sections may be offered given sufficient student interest.

For more information, please contact the Hartt Community Division at 860.768.4451 or email

HICO Residency

Interacting with performers and hearing one’s music realized by live performers is essential to growing as a composer, so YCP has partnered with the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra ( for an exciting residency. YCP students will have the opportunity to participate in reading sessions with HICO musicians during the fall and winter, and a subset of the ensemble will be available to perform students’ compositions at our annual final concert on May 15, 2018.

How do I register?

To view current classes please visit our online registration platform. Interested in starting mid-year? Contact Jessica Rudman, Program Director, at 860.768.4451 or by email at


Annual tuition for the academic year (October–May) is $495. Tuition includes a one year subscription to NoteFlight ($50 value).

A $25 registration fee may apply.

Works Composed by YCP Students

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at 860.768.4451 or