Composition Student Showcase

CSU East Bay is one of the most diverse university campuses in the United States, and the music department is no exception. We acknowledge that music of all genres and from all cultures are valid modes of artistic expression and are worthy of academic study. As such, the CSUEB Composition Studio has no stylistic or genre-based requirements or preferences when it comes to the music that our students write. In addition to instrumental, choral, and electronic contemporary classical music; our students are also writing film music, hip-hop, video game music, RnB, rock, pop, jazz, and more! Regardless of the genre of their output, all composition students have the same course requirements, and must be proficient and knowledgeable in music theory, music history, music technology, instrumentation, and orchestration. Additionally, works of all genres are expected to be well-crafted, creative, and incorporate knowledge assimilated through coursework and individual lessons. We are proud to be producing well-rounded and skilled musicians who will write the music of tomorrow both in classical and popular genres!

Many of the recordings you can listen to below are products of our Ensemble Residency program, in which the university hires professional ensembles to perform student compositions (free for students), eliminating the need for students to be trying to find and hire their own performers. Past residencies have included the Astreaus String Quartet, Splinter Reeds, MANA Saxophone Quartet, and the Travis Air Force Brass and Woodwind Quintets.

Haoran Zhou

Places I Call Home: East Bay, CA; China

Musical Influences: Film, Video Game, Classical

Lost Halloween
This is a short film about two trick-or-treaters that I scored

Video Game Background Music
This is a sampling of a variety of background music you may find in a videogame


Derek Schmidt

Places I Call Home: San Francisco, CA.

Musical Influences: Minimalism, Western esotericism, Julia Wolfe, Terry Riley, Scriabin

Air for D and B
Air for D and B is a meditation on long distance friendship that utilizes synthesized sound and samples to convey time and physical distance


Gabriel Guzman Mayo

Places I Call Home: San Francisco, CA; Cuba

Musical Influences: A bit of everything, but mainly classical music since the 1820s (Romanticism).

String Quartet No. 1 "The Fair" - I.
This is the first movement in to my string quartet in D major - it was inspired by the chamber works of Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, and Dvorak.


Alvin Tai

Places I Call Home: SF Bay Area, CA

Musical Influences: Renaissance music, Classical, Contemporary Classical, film scores, jazz, blues, rock, orchestral music.

Why Do We Fight?
This piece is a musical contemplation on conflict in human nature. Performed by Splinter Reeds.


Holly Patch

Places I Call Home: Bay Area, CA

Musical Influences: RnB, Rock, Pop, Electronic/Ambient. Bay Area has a wide variety of music styles and sounds that exist and that sort of blurs lines between styles.

As for Poets
As for Poets is a piece in three parts, each one a different element (Space, Water, Air) based on the poem As for Poets by Gary Snyder.


Shagun Sharma (aka Prophet)

Places I Call Home: San Ramon, CA; San Francisco, CA; Gujurat, India

Musical Influences: Hip-hop, R&B, Bollywood

A reflection of how I've been feeling in life, one at my lowest points and one at my highest euphorias. Vocals by Shagun Sharma.


Julius Field-Ridley (aka Isaiah Guerrero)

Places I Call Home: Sacramento/Elk Grove, CA; Bay Area, CA

Musical Influences: Stevie Wonder, Soul, and doo-wop; Kendrick Lamar, noname Gypsy, Big L, Hip-Hop and Rap; Nina Simone, Mingus, Doug Raney, Jazz; my friends and music community that I jam with

Theme and variations based of the history of the Marianas Islands from Spanish disturbance to World War 2 to current day and was was created using Chamorro folk culture, personal understandings of jazz theory, and the raw emotion of learning my cultural history as an Americanized and disconnected Chamorro man. Performed by the Astraeus String Quartet


Nino Lastimosa

Places I Call Home: Richmond, CA

Musical Influences: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Multi-genre/ Neo-classical/ Soundtrack, Lili Boulanger, Symbolist/ Impressionist

String Quartet No.1
This through composed vignette was inspired by stories of high and low fantasy and serves as an exploration of melodic themes, colors, and string writing in a chamber setting. Performed by the Astreaus String Quartet


James Adams

Places I Call Home: Colton, CA

Musical Influences: Film scores, from Star Wars to Interstellar. Deftones, Polyphia.

This piece was heavily influenced by my daily struggle with facing life. Some take for granted the simplicity of things perceived as necessity by society. Performed by Travis Brass


Maretha Davel

Places I Call Home: East Bay/SF, South Africa, England, Scotland

Musical Influences: JS Bach, church hymns, Afrikaans folk and popular music, South African music

Bid vir Mieliepap
This piece is inspired by mealtimes in South Africa (particularly "mieliepap", which is a maize porridge), including a prayer, followed by feelings of communal warmth and chaotic togetherness of the meal itself. Performed by MANA Saxophone Quartet


Adam Hughes

Places I Call Home: Oakland, CA; Gardena, CA; Santa Cruz, CA; Waltham, MA; Gallion, AL; Abilene, TX

Musical Influences: Birds, Tractors, Bach, Animals As Leaders, Jacob Mann Big Band, Lamb Of God, Nursery Rhymes, Debussy, Erik Satie, East and West Coast Hip Hop, The Mars Volta, Hector Berlioz, Ernesto Nazareth

Every piece of music I write is my attempt at processing reality as I am experiencing it in the moments leading up to my playing/notating the 1st note, and I share it because of moments I've had with music that have shaped the person I am very glad to be becoming every day.


Yina Ma

Places I Call Home: San Jose, Los Angeles, CA; Shanghai China

Musical Influences: Nature, Sci-fi films scores, video games, Bartok, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Ligeti, Arvo Pärt, John Luther Adams



Jason Chen

Places I Call Home: Hayward CA; China

Musical Influences: Hip-hop, RnB

Soul Funky


David Kail

Places I Call Home: Concord, CA

Musical Influences: Baroque and Classical music, J.S. Bach, Classical guitar music, Fernando Sor, Francisco Tarrega

String Quartet No.1
Written in Sonata form as a way for me to learn and understand that important way to structure music. Performed by the straus String Quartet


Erin Foreman

Places I Call Home: Richmond, CA

Musical Influences: Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, George Crumb, Hans Zimmer

"23" is a 12 tone piece that focuses on the temporal nature of sound in space. Performed by Divesh Karamchandani, Irene Change, Rio Nickerson, Darrell Enero, Timothy Lovelace