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Steven Rice

Assistant Professor, Composition and Music Technology
Steven C. Rice, Ph.D.
214A Music Building 1

Steven Rice is an assistant professor of composition and music technology at Penn State’s School of Music; he also coordinates ROARS (Research of the Arts, Recording, and Sound). Rice holds a Ph.D. in composition from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Robert Morris and Allan Schindler.

Championed internationally by ensembles such as the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra (Marin Alsop, director), his “evocative” (Resonance) music has won acclaim and inspired intense debate. Rice’s dramatic works for voice have attracted particular attention; his Murmurs from Limbo took 1st Prize in the 2005 Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award and his “genuinely original, fresh, and socially conscious” (Tyler Youth Orchestra) Wake Nicodemus received the ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composer Award. Dr. Rice could recently be heard at The Chicago Cultural Center singing his own Divine Epigrams and Shawn Okpebholo’s Reimagined Spirituals.

Active in the production and performance of electronic music, Rice served as an audio engineer and technician for the Eastman Computer Music Center, and in this capacity produced and performed hundreds of works with musicians as diverse as ensemble eighth blackbird, carillonneur Tiffany Ng, composer Tristan Murail, and the avant garde jazz Cuong Vu Trio.

Dr. Rice’s research includes developing approaches to applied music composition through mathematics, alternative music theories, and computer-assisted methods; developing models for the perception of rapid sound patterns, such as transients, with applications to artificial intelligence; elucidating the semiotics of racist tropes in music; theories of music and politics; and the intersection of electronic musicianship and education.

  • Education
    • Ph.D. in Composition, Eastman School of Music
    • M.M. in Composition, Bowling Green State University
    • B.M. in Music Literature, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
  • Courses Taught
    • MUSIC 297 – ROARS Lab
    • INART 258A – Fundamentals of Digital Audio
    • MUSIC 451 – Software Programming for Musicians
    • MUSIC 452 – Sound Synthesis
    • MUSIC 453 – Recording Studio Training
    • MUSIC 459 – Electronic Music Composition II
    • MUSIC 497 – Music Information Retrieval & Computer-Assisted Analysis
  • Honors + Awards
    • 2012 Finalist: Philadelphia Opera Composer-in-Residence
    • 2009 ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composer Award
    • 1st Prize: 2005 Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award
  • Publications + Presentations
    • Rice, Steven and Ann Clements. “Developing Soundcrafters: Facilitating a Holistic Approach to Music Production.” Within The Oxford Handbook of Music Composition Pedagogy. Oxford University Press” Forthcoming.
    • Rice, Steven “To Compose a Lead: Structures Related to Change Ringing.” Perspectives of New Music 54, no. 2 (Summer), 2016.