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

Director: Jessica Rudman

Young Composers ProjectThe Young Composers Project (YCP) inspires students to express themselves creatively in music. This unique program is designed for students of all experience levels, and will provide each student with the skills necessary to develop their 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.

YCP participants work with a faculty composer in one-hour classes from October to May. 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.

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

Who Can Participate in YCP?

YCP is for students in grades 7-12 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

Students of all levels are welcome. Previous composition experience is not required, though students should be comfortable reading music. Intermediate/advanced students are welcome in YCP, and/or are encouraged to consider private composition lessons.

2018-19 Class Times

Classes will be offered at the following days/times:

  • Tuesdays at 7:30–8:30 pm, starting 10/23
  • Saturdays at 10-11 am, starting 10/13
  • Saturdays at 2:35-3:35 pm, starting 10/13

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.

HICO Residency

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 in May. Students receive recordings of all reading sessions and the final concert for their own personal use.


Participants will use relevant music software to communicate their ideas.  Access to a computer to complete work outside of class is required. If you would like recommendations on software (including free options for those starting out) or have questions about the use of technology in this program, please contact Dr. Rudman at

How do I register?

To sign up for current classes please visit our online registration platform

Interested in starting mid-year? Contact Jessica Rudman by email at

Works Composed by YCP Students

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