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Why should you attend the Intensive? Here is what participants have to say--

From multi-year participants:
“The composition intensive program at St. Mary’s is an incredibly unique and invaluable opportunity for composers of all levels of ability. Students are immersed in composition for two weeks and challenged through prompts designed to expand compositional vocabulary. The most valuable takeaway from this program other than the knowledge is the wide array of sketches and draft materials which can be used to generate new compositions well after the intensive has ended. I would recommend this program to any composer looking to further develop their craft and abilities, and those who would like to focus on generating ideas rather than focus on a singular work.”

"What made me decide to come back to this program was its music writing focused curriculum, since I’ve participated for the first time in 2021. This program provides all distinctive topics every year, which I looked forward to seeing what new and unexpected perspectives I would get to learn and discuss. Particularly, it was a good opportunity to think more about the progress of composing rather than the performance outcome, as well as to share my aspects with other participants and faculty."

From an international participant:
"As a first-timer joining internationally, I find the close community at the Intensive very supportive and welcoming for learning, creating, as well as living. The schedule for lessons, workshops, and masterclasses are very well arranged by Zae and Josh to the best of every participant. The Intensive is a place to share, to create, and to craft your art. I had an amazing time there and would definitely like to go back again soon."

From first-time 2022 participants:
"As composers, we always cherish the moment our finished compositions come alive, played by wonderful musicians on a top-notch stage. But we might never harvest the fruits of our hard work without the painful days of brainstorming new ideas from scratch. During that early stage, I am notably vulnerable as ideas come and go, but everything does not seem to work at all. But the Summer Composition Intensive at St. Mary’s College taught me to enjoy that sense of vulnerability and open myself to countless possibilities. More importantly, I could do all of that with the dedicated faculty, the hospitable host, and the supportive colleagues from many different parts of the world. My two weeks in South Bend have become one of the most unforgettable memories."

“Josh and Zae conducted this event masterfully. Anyone who is looking for a community experience is strongly recommended to apply for the intensive. You will not regret it!”


"It's been great to work closely with the amazing faculty and participants, sharing music, ideas, and feedback. Josh and Zae have made a wonderful environment for learning, sharing, and creating, and anyone looking for a community experience should absolutely apply for the Intensive."

From a past participant:
"The Intensive had an environment which encouraged experimentation without the pressure to write an entire new piece during our short time there. I was able to try out new things I would not have approached the same way on my own and came up with several ideas which blossomed into new pieces soon after leaving."

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