Our composition community is made up of a vibrant group of composers and performers, including undergraduate composition minors and majors, as well as masters and doctoral students. All have access to the many performance and reading opportunities that the composition program offers, including: composition area concerts featuring student and faculty compositions, as well as orchestral and chamber music reading sessions by the CUA Symphony Orchestra, readings by the CUA chamber choir, our student composer-in-residence with the CUA wind ensemble, guest performers, and student ensembles.
We are currently updating our selection of current and recent CUA composition students on this page: check back for more info shortly. Below are some profiles of alums that have gone on to academic careers both in the US and abroad:
Alumni in Academia
Kyle Gullings DMA Composition
An Associate Professor and Director of the School of Arts at the University of Texas-Tyler. A versatile and collaborative composer of stage, vocal, and chamber works and a 2008 ASCAP/SCI Regional Winner, he has received national and regional performances through the Society of Composers, Inc., the College Music Society, the Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage Festival, and the John Duffy Composers Institute. He has been performed by Altra String Quartet and Chicago Miniaturist Ensemble, and commissioned by The Catholic University of America Women's Chorus. A post-secondary music instructor since 2006, Mr. Gullings completed his DMA in Composition at The Catholic University of America in 2011, where he was also the first recipient of their Stage Music Emphasis masters degree. More at kylegullings.com
Anthony Randolph DMA Composition
An Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Music, Howard University in Washington, DC. Dr. randolph is a composer, pianist, and music historian with extensive teaching experience at the university and primary levels. Dr. Randolph has served on the music faculty of the Benjamin T. Rome School at The Catholic University of America, and is currently Associate Professor of Music at Howard University.
Recent compositions by Dr. Randolph include Requiem Mass for the African-American Slave for orchestra, chorus, and soloists, Baghdad, the Day After, for orchestra, muezzin, and audio CD, How Long, O Lord, an electronic composition and video compilation chronicling the struggles of African-Americans from the slave trade to the present, as well as multiple chamber works.
A 2005 commissioned composition, titled Songs of the Forgotten War, was a group commission inspired by the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC. Dr. Randolph was on of the nineteen composers commissioned to reflect upon, and compose a one-minute composition on one of the nineteen bronze soldiers of the memorial. Songs of the Forgotten War had its world premiere at The Catholic University of America in spring 2005 as the third of the four-part President's Concert, "Waging Peace: Making Music in Time of War." Songs of the Forgotten War was a feature piece on WAMU radio's "Metro Connection" in summer 2005, and received a second performance at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, August, 2005, with both performances favorably reviewed by the Washington Post. Other commissions include To Do Battle in the Land, The John Brown Story, a documentary film on the life of abolitionist John Brown for the United States Parks Department, Harper's Ferry National Park, Harper's Ferry, WV. To Do Battle in the Land was recorded by the Howard University Concert Choir and instrumentalists under the direction of J. Weldon Norris.
Fanfare, a composition for orchestra and chorus by Dr. Randolph, was premiered by the Catholic University Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at the Annual Christmas Concert under the direction of Leo Nestor, at The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, December, 2003. The concert was broadcast on The Eternal World Television Network and on Howard University Television, WHUT.
Dr. Randolph is a member of The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), The College Music Society, and The American Composers Forum. He is also the new Interim Chair of the Department of Music for the 2014-2015 Academic Year.
Nicolás Suárez Eyzaguirre DMA Composition
Professor and Director at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música and Universidad Católica Boliviana in La Paz, Bolivia. Born in La Paz in 1953, he completed his studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, where he participated in the formation of the Latin American Center for Musical Studies. He is a composer, teacher and producer, and has recorded his works on stamps, representing Bolivia and the United States.
Joao Guilherme Ripper DMA Composition
Currently composition faculty member and former Dean (1999-2003) of the School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and Director of Cecília Meireles Concert Hall. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he studied Composition and Conducting with Henrique Morelenbaum, Ronaldo Miranda e Roberto Duarte at the School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where he also got his Master degree. In 1994, he moved to the US to pursue his doctoral studies under Helmut Braunlich and Emma Garmendia at the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. Ripper served as Assistant Teacher of the Orchestration class at the CUA, and created a music program at the Adult Education Program at the Connecticut Park Center, in Montgomery County, where he taught for three years. With his Composition students, he founded the Composers Society of Montgomery County. Additional studies in orchestral conducting were held in Argentina, under Guillermo Scarabino. In 1997, he returned to Brazil and resumed his duties at the School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where he served as Dean from 1999 to 2003.
Ripper has guest-conducted important Brazilian orchestras as the National Theater Symphony Orchestra (Brasília), Cuyo Symphony Orchestra (Mendoza-Argentina), National Symphony Orchestra (Rio de Janeiro), Sinfonia Cultura Orchestra (São Paulo) and Symphony Orchestra of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Rio). Currently, Ripper is Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Pantanal Chamber Orchestra, in Mato Grosso do Sul. The orchestra is the leading ensemble in the region featuring a varied repertoire that ranges from the classics into popular and new Brazilian music. In December 2005, The Pantanal Chamber Orchestra toured in other Brazilian states.
Ripper's works have been performed in many concerts hall of Brazil and abroad. He wrote "Chamber Symphony for Winds" for the Catholic University Wind Ensemble in 1996. The last movement, "Brasiliana," has been featured in the repertoire of many wind ensembles . In 1999, he was commissioned by the Akron Symphony to write a symphonic work for the celebration of Brazil's 500th anniversary -- Abertura Concertante -- which was premiered in March 2000 at E.J.Thomas Hall, in Akron (OH). His chamber opera "Domitila" was awarded the best chamber work of 2000 by the National Critics Association of Brazil. His symphonic works are in the repertoire of important Brazilian orchestras. The cantata "Passio" was performed in a series of four concerts in one of the leading halls in Rio. In July 2003, his third opera "The Dark Angel" received 16 performances in São Paulo. In December 2005, the performances of "The Dark Angel" were listed in the top works of the last eight years.
Janet Peachy DMA Composition
Teaches theory, composition and music technology at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. Dr. Peachey has written music in a wide variety of genres: opera, ballet, orchestral, chamber, piano, and vocal. Her works have been performed to critical acclaim in the United States and Europe. She recently completed both libretto and music for Wheel Ordeal, a comic opera about buying a car.
Dr. Peachey has received grants for composition from the National Endowment for the Arts, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Meet the Composer, Alban Berg Foundation, and the City of Vienna Cultural Council, and has had music published by Arsis Press. She was a two-year Fulbright grantee in Vienna, Austria, studying at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst (Academy for Music and Performing Arts), where she was awarded DIPLOMAS in composition and conducting. She also holds DMA and B.Mus. degrees in composition from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
As Artistic Director of Capital Composers Alliance from 1988 to 2004, Dr. Peachey organized and produced concerts of works by Washington, DC area composers; from 1989-1993 she was Vice President of Programs for American Women Composers, Inc.
To learn more, click here.
Robert Gibson MM Composition
Professor and Director of the University of Maryland School of Music. Dr. Gibson has been a composer member of the Contemporary Music Forum of Washington, DC (1987–2000), and he is also active as a performer of new music. As a jazz bassist and composer he has appeared leading his own groups and, during the early 80’s, as a sideman with internationally recognized artists including Mose Allison, Bob Berg, Marc Copland, Tom Harrell, Eddie Harris, and Barney Kessel.
Among Mr. Gibson’s compositions are Offrande for string quartet, Concerto for Double Bass and Chamber Orchestra, A Sound Within for piano solo, and numerous works for various chamber ensembles. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States, including concerts at the Bowling Green 21st Annual New Music and Arts Festival and the national conferences of The College Music Society, The National Flute Association, and Society of Composers, Inc. Mr. Gibson’s works have also been presented on National Public Radio and in Europe, South America and China. Noted artists and ensembles who have performed his works include bassists Bertram Turetzky and David Walter, clarinetist Esther Lamneck, the Meridian String Quartet, the Clarion Wind Quintet, the Contemporary Music Forum, the 20th Century Consort, and The National Symphony Bass Quartet, who commissioned his composition Soundings (2001). His large orchestra work Through the Ear of a Raindrop, written for the inaugural season of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at Maryland was premiered by the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra and conductor James Ross in May 2002.
Mr. Gibson’s awards in composition include seven Creative and Performing Arts Awards from the University of Maryland, the Artist Fellowship in Music (1982) and an Individual Artist Award (1993) from the Maryland State Arts Council, and a Community Engagement Grant from the American Composers Forum (1999).
To learn more, visit www.robertgibsonmusic.com.
Allen Bonde DMA Composition
Professor Emeritus at Mount Holyoke College. Bonde's academic focus is sensitively balanced with his continuing and exciting professional career, one which spans most of his life. As a pianist, Bonde has performed in many venues, including Carnegie Recital Hall, the National Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Severance Chamber Hall. His performances have been described as "brilliant" (Washington Post) and "solid" (New York Times). Recorded and widely commissioned, his compositions, demonstrating great diversity, have been performed throughout the world by such notables as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic brass principals, and Wong Ching-Ping, one of the most famous pipa players. (The pipa is a short-necked plucked wooden lute.)
David G. Heinick DMA Composition
Professor at The Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam. David Heinick's music spans a broad range of styles and performing forces, often juxtaposing disparate styles within a single work. His music has been performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, and has been broadcast on NPR, the CBC, and the BBC. With Carol Heinick, he has performed extensively playing music for two pianists at one or two pianos; he has also been active as a collaborative pianist, having performed with numerous prominent soloists and members of major orchestras. Since 1989, he has been a member of the faculty at SUNY-Potsdam's Crane School of Music; he previously taught at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore and St. Mary's College of Maryland.