MFA in Music Composition

Our MFA in Music Composition—the very first of its kind in the nation—offers musicians a chance to forge their own creative paths, refine their composition skills, and grow more vital as artists, composers, and music educators.

Students come from diverse stylistic backgrounds and have varied compositional interests. This musically inclusive MFA program reflects that diversity, offering opportunities to work in and across five focus areas: Film, TV & Game Scoring, Concert Music, Electronic Music, Songwriting, and Jazz. Our highly accomplished faculty work in multiple genres, and students can specialize in one area or several, exploring and blending musical streams.

VCFA’s immersive model brings students and faculty together, joined by topnotch ensembles who perform and record student music, for a week of intensive residency once every six months. Over the course of four semesters, students not only produce new work, but also hear and share the music they write with an engaged community. The deep relationship between student and faculty mentor that begins during the seven-day residency on our historic campus in the heart of Vermont’s capital city is catalyst for the creative work of the semester, where each student works from home on an individualized, self-designed composition project. In this way the program carves out space in students’ lives for inquiry, experimentation, research, and criticism, making room for both the exploration and the refinement of their craft.

Rick Baitz, Faculty Chair, describes the "immersion effect" of an MFA in Music Composition residency:


Music Comp Grad Renée Baker and Faculty Member Don DiNicola present at the MCA Screen Creative Music Summit

Recent MFA in Music Composition graduate Renée Baker and founding faculty member Don DiNicola...

Jonathan Bailey Holland Featured in the New York Times

Composer Jonathan Bailey Holland, faculty in the MFA in Music Composition program, was featured...

Evan Beigel’s String Quartet Performed by The Secret String Quartet

MFA in Music Composition student Evan Beigel’s (’14) string quartet Oscillatore was...

Entelechron Performs Works by MFA in Music Composition Students, Alumni, and Faculty

Prism Projects presented “VCFA Premieres/Favorite Melodies,” performed by Entelechron, featuring...

Jessica Collado (’14) Releases Album

Jessica Collado (’14) recently released her CD New Tricks, a high energy, heavy...


MFA in Music Composition Winter Residency

During each seven-day on-campus residency, students are immersed in workshops, lectures, master-classes, rehearsals, and performances.


Learn More


Sarah Madru

Assistant Program Director, Performance Coordinator, and Admissions Officer for the MFA in Music
866-934-8232, ext. 8534