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Composers in the Schools (CITS) aims to increase the knowledge, experience, and participation in music by middle and high school students in Kansas City.  Since CITS was founded in 1993, graduate students from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance’s top-ranked composition department have visited Kansas City metro area schools weekly, working with students in a variety of areas including music composition, music theory, music history, music appreciation, and performance.

CITS graduate fellows work closely with students to develop their compositional skills, performance abilities, and general understanding of music to not only engage more deeply with the music they love, but to explore music beyond their current familiarity.  The CITS program emphasizes creativity and active participation, and our fellows encourage and help their students to compose their own original music.

Schools and students participating in CITS have many opportunities to meet and have classes with world-renowned composers and performers.  Recently, notable visiting composers have included Martin Bresnick, Chinary Ung, Felix Lazo, Cristian Morales-Ossio, and Michael Daugherty.  Visiting performers have included violinist Rolf Schulte, cellist Madeleine Shapiro, pianist Hsing-ay Hsu, violist Michael Hall, the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, the Music from China ensemble and multimedia artist Tyler Galloway.

Composers in the Schools Participating Schools, 2016-2017