Creative Studies & Media

Creative Studies & Media (CS&M) incorporates the composition degree programs, as well as courses in jazz studies and free/world music improvisation. Composition faculty represent national and international profiles in a variety of media and seek to nurture students’ original creative interests and knowledge. Composition students receive individual lessons and participate in group seminars. Both the School of Music and the Twin Cities offer a wide range of new music performance opportunities. The Contemporary Music Workshop provides ongoing interaction between composition and performance students.

Creative Studies & Media Faculty


Students in Creative Studies & Media are afforded many opportunities for performance. A list of potential ensembles includes:


Projects & Creation of New Work

Creative Studies & Media students collaborate with each other and with faculty from across the School of Music and the University to create projects that cross multiple disciplines.

Recent Projects from Creative Studies & Media

  • The Enchanted Guitar Forest (EGF), improvised, arranged, and original pieces for two guitars
    • An ongoing project of eclectic music improvisations rooted in (but not limited to) Eastern European (Balkan and Jewish) and American (jazz, rock, and blues) themes, rhythms, and tonalities
    • Alex Lubet (acoustic guitar, ukulele, national steel guitar) and Maja Radovanlija (classical guitar, prepared guitar)
  • Faculty plays The Beatles, joint faculty and student’s project of arranged songs by The Beatles.
    • Alex Lubet, Dean Sorenson, Scott Currie, Wendy Zaro-Mullins, Maja Radovanlija, Andrew Bergmann.
  • Instabilitrio, collective improvised music for woodwinds, guitar, and harmonica
    • Drawing upon avant-garde jazz, rock, and contemporary music conceptions
    • Scott Currie (saxophone/flutes), Erkki Huovinen (guitar, harmonica, bass clarinet), Edward Schneider (alto saxophone)–performances at Art of This gallery, live broadcast on KFAI, CD released on Heartbreaker Records.
  • Opera Project, DVD recording, Summer 2012
    • Guerino Mazzolla, David Walsh, 16 students and composer Manuela Kerer (Italy); Grant-In-Aid funding.
  • CD production Passionate Message
    • Joomi Park, Guerino Mazzolla (published by Silkheart Records, 2012).
  • CD production RELENTLESS
    • Guerino Mazzolla, Alex Lubet, Nick Zelinski (to appear on Silkheart records).
  • MIA/composition studio project, project that took place several years in a row.
    • Composition students write pieces inspired by current exhibitions at MIA for variety of instruments. In 2012, students wrote music for and with guitar.
    • Alex Lubet
  • Nouvelle musical Cousine: Real-time creativity, joint faculty and student project/concert of improvised music.
    • Alex Lubet, Guerino Mazzola, Scott Currie, Maja Radovanlija, Adam Zahller, Joey Crane, Andrew Bergmann, guest: Michelle Kinney.

Ongoing & Upcoming Projects

  • Improvising Ecosystems: Sounds and Visions of Cedar Creek
    • The pilot project brings together a collaborative team of faculty, staff, and students representing a variety of disciplines (improvisers/composers, visual artists, environmentalists); Maja Radovanlija, Scott Currie; Fall 2013, Cedar Creek Ecosystem, SOM, IonE, School of Fine Arts.
  • Collaborative project with Michelle Kinney and U of M Dance Studio
    • Alex Lubet, Guerino Mazzolla, Scot Currie; Fall/Spring 2013/14.
  • Collaborative project of composition students (A. Lubet) and applied studios (Guitar, Clarinet, percussion, etc.)
    • Ongoing project, semester-based; Collaboration between composition students and their colleagues from applied studios, initiated by A. Lubet. Every semester several works are written for applied studio and performed at various locations in town; Alex Lubet.
  • Gestural Duo Improvisation
    • A creative research-performance project focusing on the fundamental role that the exchange of motivic/rhythmic ideas plays in collaborative extemporaneous compositional processes; Scott Currie (saxophone) and Guerino Mazzolla (piano).