TODD STEWART COLEMAN


Todd Stewart Coleman is a composer, bassist, educator, and founding director of Elon University's Music Production & Recording Arts degree program where he has taught since 2007. Before Elon, Coleman taught music at Grinnell College and was a curricular technology specialist for the arts. Coleman composes music in diverse genres and styles, including classical music for the concert hall, music for film and documentary television, and interactive soundtracks for immersive escape rooms. His music often explores the intersection of the arts and technology, blurring boundaries between disciplines and styles.

Coleman studied at the renowned Eastman School of Music in New York (DMA 2002, MM 1999) with composers Joseph Schwanter, Christopher Rouse, Augusta Read Thomas, and David Liptak. His undergraduate studies were at Brigham Young University (BM 1996) with composers Michael Hicks, Stephen Jones, David Sargent, and Murray Boren.

RECENT PROJECTS

Read about recent releases, publications, and projects
Exquisite Corpse
MUSIC FOR CELLO

Coleman is preparing to release an EP of music he has written for the cello, including Exquisite Corpse, Reflections, and Undertones. These pieces were all composed while he was studying at university or shortly after graduation.

If That Mockingbird Don't Sing
IF THAT MOCKINGBIRD DON'T SING

Coleman composed the soundtrack for this short film while he was a graduate student at the Eastman School of Music. The film is a meditation on the lasting impact of losing one's mother at a young age and trying to keep her memory alive.

Having Seen Afar Off
HAVING SEEN AFAR OFF

Coleman composed a major concert work for double choir and orchestra commissioned by Voices - The Chapel Hill Chorus, commissioned in celebration of their 40th Anniversary Season. The work consists of 8 song-movements on text by poet Sara Teasdale. 

Mogollon Monster
MOGOLLON MONSTER

In 2021, Coleman composed the soundtrack and sound design for an escape room called Mogollon Monster, which takes place on the Mogollon Rim in northern Arizona late at night as campers attempt to snap photographic proof of Bigfoot's existence.

EVIL Robots
E.V.I.L. ROBOTS

In 2020, Coleman composed the adaptive soundtrack for the Nemesis Club's first escape room called E.V.I.L. Robots. The game is a retro-futuristic sci-fi setting featuring the Experimental Virtual Intelligence Laboratory, Robots Division. 

Satori
SATORI

Satori is a short film created for the 2019 48 Hour Film Project in Greensboro, NC. Coleman composed the soundtrack for this horror thriller about a young woman under the watchful eyes, ears, and influence of her smart home device, Satori.

Adieu
ADIEU

In summer 2022, Coleman released a recording of his first composition, Adieu, on all major music services. He composed the piece for string orchestra when he was 18 years old at the encouragement of his orchestra teacher.

Flute Concerto
FLUTE CONCERTO

In 2006, Coleman was commissioned to compose a flute concerto for American flutist April Clayton. The three-movement concerto was recorded by Clayton and the BYU Chamber Orchestra and released by Tantara Records in 2012. 

Todd Coleman in front of organ
NUMEN LUMEN

In 2012, Coleman was commissioned by Elon University to compose a new work for organ and string quartet. The composition, titled Numen Lumen, was premiered at Elon by organist Tim Olsen and the Ciompi Quartet, artists-in-residence and professors at Duke University.

Country Girl
COUNTRY GIRL

Country Girl (In A Rock & Roll World) is a song co-written by Coleman and some of his music faculty colleagues and students as part of a collaborative songwriting project at Elon University. The song was eventually released by alumni artist Frank Hurd and the Frank Hurd Band.

Todd Coleman in front of organ
GAME OVER

Soon after moving to North Carolina to launch the Music Production & Recording Arts program at Elon University in 2007, Coleman joined a film production team called General Pictures based in Greensboro. This is the first short film that Coleman composed the soundtrack for.

Exquisite Corpse
EXQUISITE CORPSE

Exquisite Corpse was commissioned by Mormon Artists Group in New York as part of a collection of collaborative artworks. Coleman then expanded on the original piano solo, adding layered video projection, amplified cello, and electronics.

Wind Dance
TEXTBOOK CHAPTER

In 2001, Coleman was invited to write a chapter about his first composition, Adieu, for the GIA Publications book series Teaching Music through Performance in Orchestra as a resource for music educators.

Wind Dance
WIND DANCE

Wind Dance was written on commission from the Penfield Music Commission Project in 2000 as an educational piece to be performed by a flute choir of wide ranging ability levels, from professionals to beginners.

REVIEWS OF COLEMAN'S MUSIC

  • “Masterly orchestral craftsmanship… a feel for odd, refreshing sonorities, and expressive speech… More power to composers like [this].”
    John van Rhein, Chicago Tribune
  • “The melodic invention, the craftsmanship of the presentation and above all the sheer luminosity of the textures I find very attractive.”
    David Tutt
  • “As usual, Coleman writes a music that is as intense as it is magical, as powerful as sensible. The solo seems to slowly, softly exit from the clouds of a dream to reach the final climax in the most natural, spontaneous way... There is a very intense singing, here, and a very clever play of timbres.” 
    Paulo Tramannoni
  • "...fascinating explorations...and striking combinations. It is seldom that commissions are clearly pieces that ought to be played often, well beyond their duty to fulfill a grant. Numen Lumen is a winner!"
    William Thomas Walker, CVNC - Online Arts Journal
  • “His music-making is naturally expressive and has an elegance that is compelling.”
    Augusta Read Thomas
  • “[Coleman’s music is] new and fresh without being unapproachable or tradition-bound… I found it to be touching and wondrous.”
    Glen Nelson
  • “I find his music strong, imaginative and well crafted.”
    Joseph Schwantner

CONTACT

Contact Todd to discuss a new commission, get performance materials, or discuss an idea for a creative collaboration.

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