Go Compose North America offers online composition workshops and musical development opportunities to participants of all abilities. Our mission is to make music creation accessible to anyone.

"The mentors were fantastic!!! They really sparked my creative process."

Go Compose


Our diverse array of workshops, academies, and camps are designed to spark creativity and develop composition skills in young musicians. Explore our past events celebrating the art of composition.

What We've Done

A Go Compose Timeline


Encoded Composition

May 2020

Encoded Composition

In our Encoded Composition workshop, participants embarked on an explorative journey into the art of embedding secret messages within their music. Led by composers Douglas Buchanan, Christopher Mayo, and Alison Cox, along with renowned professionals including Mark Berger, Katherine Dowling, and Sam Solomon, attendees uncovered historical techniques of musical cryptology. Through hands-on engagement, they crafted compositions that cleverly concealed messages within the melodies, harmonies, and rhythms, using instruments like viola, piano, and drum kit.

July 2020

Where the Wild Sounds Are!

Our workshop, Where the Wild Sounds Are!, challenged participants to venture beyond conventional sound boundaries. Under the guidance of Mark Berger, along with Michael Rickelton, Alison Cox, and Katherine Dowling, young composers explored extended techniques to produce unconventional sounds. This innovative session encouraged creativity and technical exploration, pushing participants to expand their auditory palettes and incorporate unique sound textures into their compositions.

Where the wild sounds are

August 2020


The Sound2Idea workshop, led by the composer and Guggenheim fellow Marti Epstein, introduced participants to the concept of developing compositions from a single sound or idea. Joined by Michael Rickelton (composer), Katherine Dowling (pianist), and William "Friendship" Lombardelli (bass trombonist and beat-boxer), the workshop provided insights into transforming abstract sounds into pieces of music.

August 2020

Where the Wild Sounds Are! - Go Compose AGAIN! Edition

Tailored for returning participants, the Go Compose AGAIN! edition of Where the Wild Sounds Are! offered an advanced exploration of sound creation, specifically for solo piano. Led by Mark Berger with pianist Katherine Dowling, attendees delved deeper into creating innovative sounds, focusing on advanced piano techniques and expanding their creative expression. Composers wrote for the inside of the piano as well as the regular keys making new sounds that can never be forgotten.

Wild Sounds
Fanfares and Lullabies

February 2021

Fanfares and Lullabies

Our Fanfares and Lullabies workshop, facilitated by Michael Rickelton (composer), brought together an ensemble of brass players including Jo Ann Lamolino (trumpet), Mary Jo Neher (french horn), and Will Lombardelli (bass trombone), as well as Chris Ciampoli (composer), to explore the contrasting styles of fanfares and lullabies. Participants composed pieces that captured the boldness of fanfares or the gentleness of lullabies, gaining insights into emotional expression in music and the technical aspects of writing for brass instruments.

March 2021

Once Upon a Time... - Go Compose AGAIN!

In the Once Upon a Time... workshop, returning alumni had the opportunity to delve into the intricate relationship between text and music. Under the guidance of Ryan MacEvoy McCullough (pianist and composer) and Lucy Fitz Gibbon(soprano), participants focused on setting text to music, exploring how word choice, phrasing, and vocal nuances influence musical composition.

Once Upon a Time
What are the chances?

April 2021

What are the Chances...

The What are the Chances... workshop introduced participants to the concept of aleatoric music, where randomness and performer choice play crucial roles in the composition process. Working with Saman Shahi, Michael Rickelton, Christopher Ciampoli, Kathleen Berger, and Will Lombardelli, the workshop explored the unpredictable nature of chance music and its potential to create unique, spontaneous compositions. We even ended up with a composition for Puppy and Violin!

May 2021

Color as Sound - Go Compose Again!

In the Color as Sound workshop, participants translated visual art into music, inspired by artists like Lois Mailou Jones and Mary Cassatt. Guided by Marti Epstein, this session employed the solo upright piano to interpret the colors and textures of the artwork into sound, offering a cross-sensory approach to composition that challenged participants to think creatively about the synthesis of visual and auditory art forms.

Color as sound
Andrew Noseworthy

June 2021

Electric Guitar Workshop - Go Compose Again!

Our Electric Guitar Workshop explored the sonic possibilities of the electric guitar, focusing on the use of pedals to create innovative sounds. Led by Andrew Noseworthy (composer/guitar) and Saman Shahi (composer), participants learned about pedal configurations and their effects on the guitar's sound, pushing the boundaries of traditional guitar music and exploring new compositional techniques.

Summer Festival 2021

Mini Camp

August 2-6, 2021

Mini Camp

A morning online mini camp for kids aged 8-10 combined fun, education, and creativity. Led by Kathleen Berger (flute/educator/conductor) and Christopher Ciampoli (composer/violin), it introduced young participants to the basics of music composition through interactive activities like composing, conducting, and listening. This camp nurtured early musical talent and encouraged a love for creative expression through music with special guests and projects throughout the week. We even had an impromptu dance party with our favorite toys!

August 2-4, 2021

3 Compositions in 3 Days

Over three intense days, participants were challenged to create one composition each day under the guidance of Michael Rickelton, Christopher Ciampoli, Kathleen Berger, and Sonya Knussen. This workshop emphasized rapid composition techniques, using graphic scores as one of many new tools. Each day, attendees stretched their creative limits and enhanced their ability to express ideas musically with speed and clarity, resulting in a showcase of diverse and innovative compositions.

3 Compositions

August 5-6, 2021

Voices Workshop

This workshop concentrated on vocal composition, led by Michael Rickelton (composer/baritone) and Sonya Knussen (artistic director/alto), with the help of soprano Julie Bosworth and baritone Andrew Sauvageau. Participants explored the nuances of writing for different voice types, focusing on vocal range, breath control, and new vocal sounds.

August 9-10, 2021

Haegum Workshop

Soo Yeon Lyuh, a master of the haegum, a traditional Korean two-stringed instrument, led this workshop. Participants learned about the haegum's playing techniques, its expressive range, and its distinctive sound, allowing participants to compose and write for this unique instrument.

Found Sounds

August 11-13, 2021

Choose Your Own Adventure

This workshop encouraged innovative thinking and creative problem-solving in music composition. Led by Michael Rickelton and featuring Jonathan Berman (conductor), Katherine Dowling (piano), and Katie Ravenwood(clarinet), this workshop allowed participants to explore personal composition paths using found sounds. Attendees experimented with everyday objects as musical instruments, integrating these sounds with traditional instruments.

August 16-18, 2021

Loops, Amplification, and New Sounds

Focusing on contemporary music techniques, this workshop introduced participants to the world of looping, amplification, and creating new sounds. Guided by experts including Andrew Noseworthy (guitar/composer), Stephanie Jaimes (percussive cello), Will “Friendship” Lombardelli (beatbox/abelton/bass trombone), and Saman Shahi (composer), composers experimented with innovative popular music tools and pop-culture ideas to expand their compositional palette. From effects pedals, to cello chopping techniques, to beat boxing, our participants had a composing experience like no other.


August 18-20, 2021

Words! Words! Words!

This text-focused workshop, led by Ryan MacEvoy McCullough (piano/composer) and Lucy Fitz Gibbon (soprano), delved into the art of setting text to music. Participants worked on capturing the emotional essence of words through melody and harmony, learning to align lyrical content with musical expression effectively. This experience highlighted the interplay between narrative and music, enhancing the composers' abilities to convey stories through their compositions.

Special Appearance

New Music Gathering

August 2021

New Music Gathering

New Music Gathering featured Go Compose North America in an online presentation where compositions written during our workshops from 2020-21 by the program's participants were showcased. This event allowed the community to engage with a wider audience, presenting the innovative works of young composers to new music enthusiasts and professionals.

Winter Kids Camp

Winter Camp

December 28-30, 2021

Winter Kids Camp

During the holiday season, our Winter Kids Camp offered a series of morning workshops designed for children aged 7-10. These sessions were filled with activities that promoted musical creativity and hands-on learning, providing a joyful and educational experience that encouraged the youngest composers to develop their musical ideas and share them in a supportive environment.

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