The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) announces a new Technology and Applied Composition program (“TAC”), an undergraduate degree offering an unparalleled foundation for success in the diverse and evolving music industry

Comment Off 33 Views
Media Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 17, 2014

photo by: Heike Liss

San Francisco Conservatory of Music Announces Innovative New Program in
Technology and Applied Composition

Scoring and Sound Design for Film, Games and New Media

Highlights Include:

State-of-the-Art Recording, Mixing and Production Studios
Generously Sponsored by Meyer Sound, sE Electronics and AMS Neve

Mentorship from Academic Faculty and Industry Professionals

Industry Partnerships with Bay Area Media Companies

Theoretical and Practical Instruction in Music Technology

Certification Credentials in Current Software Applications

Rigorous Conservatory Composition Curriculum
San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) announces a new Technology and Applied Composition program (“TAC”), an undergraduate degree offering an unparalleled foundation for success in the diverse and evolving music industry. A unique curriculum integrating compositional craft with music technology will launch a new generation of composers adept in the fields of concert music, sound design and film and game scoring. Now accepting applications for the inaugural class of 2015, the Conservatory will produce versatile graduates who thrive as individual artists and as members of a creative team.

An exceptional conservatory curriculum provides a solid framework for the program. Students master cutting-edge production practices, music theory, ear training and orchestration as well as develop critical thinking skills and sound business practices. They study virtual and acoustic instrument design, learn to improvise, and assimilate the history of film and game aesthetics. Working in a set of state-of-the-art audio labs, young composers learn to use the computer and recording studio as instruments to conceive and perform their own acoustic and electronic music.

President David H. Stull sees this expansion of SFCM’s curriculum to encompass music technology and composition for media as indispensable to the future of twenty-first century education. “The innovative nature of this program will unite a world-class conservatory experience with the aesthetics and tools of twenty-first century composition,” Stull affirms. “For the creative individual seeking a comprehensive education in a city that leads the world in technology and new media, there is no better opportunity.”

Larry Probst, Executive Chairman of Electronics Arts, looks forward to collaborating with the Conservatory on its new technology initiative. “I am delighted to see the launch of such an innovative program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music,” says Probst. “This will provide the opportunity for Electronic Arts to work closely with exceptionally talented young artists who aspire to work in our industry.  It will undoubtedly offer a unique curriculum featuring state-of-the-art tools and techniques that will attract top talent from around the world.”

“The mixing of music and technology is a natural evolution for such an esteemed institution as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, concurs Leslie Ann Jones, Director of Music Recording and Scoring at Skywalker Sound, a multiple Grammy Award-winning recording engineer and artistic advisor to the TAC program. “This new program will ensure that students are provided with the tools they need to compete now and in the future,” she added. “I look forward to working with President Stull and the Conservatory faculty on this effort.”

Certification exams in Logic ProX, Final Cut Pro and Pro Tools ensure that students achieve fluency in the most relevant software applications. Courses using Max/MSP visual programming language reveal the inner logic of sound design and recording programs, equipping students with the tools they need to master any software application and workflow process, or to invent their own. Resident faculty offer close mentorship and visiting professionals evaluate student portfolios for outside feedback on creative development. Guest faculty and artists will be drawn from industry leaders, including Electronic Arts and Skywalker Sound, who help prepare students for life after graduation. And at every stage of training, students will create music appropriate to the specific artistic, technical and practical requirements of each project.

This combination of professional quality studios, resident faculty, visiting artists, artistic advisors and Bay Area industry alliances will create a one-of-a-kind musical experience for undergraduates pursuing a career in music and technology. The initial release of details about the TAC program follows immediately after the announcement of SFCM’s appointment of composer Mason Bates to its composition faculty. Anticipating the launch of this program, a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal cited the Conservatory’s initiative to prepare students for careers in an evolving industry. To learn more about the program, visit

Studios: To support the program, four state-of-the-art studios for recording, mixing and production featuring speakers, equipment and acoustic installations sponsored by Meyer Sound, sE Electronics and AMS Neve are now under construction and will be complete this fall. These include:

  • a Digital Audio Keyboard Lab, a 14 station digital audio production lab with Apple computers, software, and digital pianos;
  • an acoustically tempered Live Room with grand piano available for recording projects and the rehearsal of electro-acoustic music;
  • a Mixing Classroom for recording and teaching that is networked to the school’s three performance halls and equipped with a 32-channel Neve Console, a Meyer HD 5.1 Surround Sound monitoring system and Moog synthesizers;
  • a Premium Listening Suite with 5.1 surround sound and computers running orchestral sample libraries designed for editing, mastering and a post-production work by visiting artists, students and faculty.

Visiting Industry Professionals: In addition to its resident faculty, the program is enhanced by the outside perspective of music technology professionals and film/game composers who regularly visit SFCM as guest faculty to the program. A distinguished panel of guest faculty and visiting industry professionals will be announced in a forthcoming release.

Artistic Advisory Committee: The TAC program benefits from the expertise of business leaders and professionals working in the recording, music technology, film and game industries. This Artistic Advisory Committee helps guide curriculum and facilities for maximum relevance and contemporary practice.  Members include Leslie Ann Jones; Jaron Lanier, celebrated technology writer and author of Who Owns the Future, winner of a 2014 Goldsmith Book Prize; and Dren McDonald, noted game audio composer, sound designer and audio director. Additional artistic advisors will be announced in a subsequent release.

Special professional development events at SFCM hosted in conjunction with the launch of the TAC program include “Game On: An Insider’s Guide to Video Game Scoring,” a conference presented in partnership with the American Composers Forum featuring game composers Lennie Moore and artistic advisor Dren McDonald (October 31-November 2), and New Music Gathering, three days of performances, presentations and discussions spotlighting artist-led ensembles with a keynote address by new music entrepreneur Clair Chase (January 15-17, 2015).

To learn more about Technology and Applied Composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, visit


About The San Francisco Conservatory of Music:

Founded in 1917, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is the oldest conservatory in the American West and has earned an international reputation for producing musicians of the highest caliber. Notable alumni include violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern, conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, soprano Elza van den Heever, Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman and Ronald Losby, President of Steinway & Sons-Americas, among others. The Conservatory offers its approximately 400 collegiate students fully accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in composition and instrumental and vocal performance. Its Pre-College Division provides exceptionally high standards of musical excellence and personal attention to more than 580 younger students. The Conservatory’s faculty and students give nearly 500 public performances each year, most of which are offered to the public at no charge. Its community outreach programs serve over 1,600 school children and over 11,000 members of the wider community who are otherwise unable to hear live performances. The Conservatory’s Civic Center facility is an architectural and acoustical masterwork, and the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall was lauded by The New York Times as the “most enticing classical-music setting” in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit

Download the media release in PDF format.

© 2014 San Francisco Conservatory of Music. All Rights Reserved.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Editor of Media website.
Free Newsletter Updated Daily