Composing an ensamble


Bachelor of Music

This Bachelor of Music allows students to develop the essential technical toolbox and broad aesthetic perspective needed to assume a place in the community of professional composers. Composition study offers an array of musical opportunities for graduates, including film scoring, commercial music, educational and church music publications, recording arts, and careers in higher education. The program aims to prepare each young composer for high-level graduate work and a music career. Applied composition is designed to unleash and develop the innate musical creativity of the natural composer through the active writing of music in a variety of forms and styles and for a wide range of instrumental combinations. The program provides students with the opportunity to hear live performances of every completed composition, from solo to large ensemble works and orchestral pieces. Students in the composition program are encouraged to develop their own unique musical voice and are urged to explore a broad spectrum of tonal and non-tonal musical languages in their writing.

Fast Facts

  • Mercyhurst is the only institution in the Erie area that offers accredited Music Degree Programs. Our five programs are B.A. in music, B.M. in composition, B.M. in performance, B.M. in music therapy, and B.M. in music education.
  • Generous performance scholarships are available for music students.
  • Compose scores for live performances by our students, faculty, and ensembles. Develop your creativity through the active writing of music in a variety of forms and styles and for a wide range of instrumental combinations.
  • With the B.A. music degree, enjoy the flexibility of pursuing a minor in an outside area, or perhaps even a double major, to enhance your career options and graduate school opportunities.
  • All majors enroll every semester in at least one large ensemble—such as concert choir, wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, or civic orchestra. Choose from one of eight small ensembles. All ensembles are open to non-music majors as well.



    The music minor involves 19 credits in music theory, aural skills, music history, ensembles, and applied instruction on your instrument or voice.

    • MUS 140/240: Large Ensemble (Four semesters, one credit each)
    • MUS 1##/2##: Lessons on Instrument/Voice/Composition (Four semesters, one credit, 30-minute lessons per week)
    • MUS 101/102: Theory I and II (Two semesters, three credits each)
    • MUS 109/113: Theory and Aural Lab I and II (Two semesters, zero credits each)
    • MUS 111/112: Aural Skills I and II (Two semesters, one credit each)

    One Music History course (Three credits), chosen from the following:


    • MUS 104: Music History I (Antiquity to 1750); Fall semester only
    • MUS 105: Music History II (1750 to the present); Spring semester only
    • MUS 114: Music and Media; Fall and spring semesters
    • MUS 206: Orchestral/Chamber Music Lit.; Spring semester, alternating years
    • MUS 207: World Music/Jazz History; Fall semester only