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 2016–17 academic-year program runs from Monday, October 17, to Monday, May 16, 2016.

Download the 2016–17 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, 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 ($49 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.

We place students into classes based on availability and experience level (though no experience is necessary).  We are almost always able to place interested students into a class time that will work for them.

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

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 16, 2017.

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 email Jessica Rudman.


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.