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Paul Elwood

Paul Elwood

Associate Professor of Music Composition

School of Music
College of Performing and Visual Arts

Contact Information

(970) 351-2919
Frasier 104


  • PhD Music Composition, University at Buffalo
  • MM Music Composition, Southern Methodist University
  • BME, Wichita State University

Professional/Academic Experience

  • University of Northern Colorado, 2008 - present
  • Brevard College, 1995 - 2008

The music of Paul Elwood often incorporates his background as a folk musician and experimentalist on the five-string banjo with that of his voice as a composer who loves the processes and syntax of contemporary writing. Residencies he has received include the American Academy in Rome as Southern Regional Visiting Composer, the Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Artists Residence Program, Ucross Foundation, Camargo Foundation (France), Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), and the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos. In 2000 he was awarded the Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies Inter-American Music Award for Vigils for solo piano, and was featured as a composer and performer in Moscow, Mexico City, Marseille (France), Wollongong (Australia), Edinburgh (Scotland), Darmstadt (Germany), and all over the U.S. As a composer his music has been performed by the symphonies of North Carolina, Charleston, and Wichita, by the Callithumpian Consort of the New England Conservatory, Zeitgeist, pianist Stephen Drury, Tambuco (the Mexican Percussion Quartet), and pipa players Min Xiao-Fen and Gao Hong, among others.

As a performer he won the Kansas State Banjo Championship, worked with guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, cellist Hank Roberts, French saxophonist Raphael Imbert, Andrew Bishop’s Hank Williams Project, Electric Cowboy Cacophony, and bluegrass legend John Hartford, performed live on MTV Europe, and played percussion in a number of orchestras. His music is published by C.F. Peters and Smith Publications. Elwood’s teachers were J.C. Combs (percussion), and composers Donald Erb, David Felder, Walter Mays, Arthur S. Wolff, and Charles Wuorinen.

Learn More about Dr. Elwood's Music

Honors and Awards

  • The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center residency program to compose Atmospheric Rivers: a composition for solo piano and electronics, for pianist Kathleen Supove, October-November 2021.

  • The UNC Provost’s Fund for Scholarship and Professional Development (2016), $10,000, to record a CD of original music for release on Innova Recordings, St. Paul, Minnesota, spring of 2017, with percussionist Eddie Prévost, the University of Iowa Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Daniel Moore, and the Callithumpian Conosort of the New England Conservatory.

  • The UNC Summer Scholarship Initiative, $2000, to record a CD of original music with Famoudou Don Moye, percussionist with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, 2011.

  • Scholar of the Year, University of Northern Colorado College of Visual and Performing Arts, 2010-2011.

  • Home Depot: $2000 in power tools to stage my composition Clean Cut for solo cello, percussion, and power tools, at UNC 2011.

  • American Music Center Composer Assistance Program grant, $1500, to travel to Sophia, Bulgaria, as featured guest composer on the AmBul Festival of New American and Bulgarian Music, 2010.

  • Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording Program grant for the production and release of Stanley Kubrick’s Mountain Home, CD on Innova Recordings, $6000, 2010.

  • Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico, artist-in-residence, summer 2010; spring 2009; summer 2008.

  • Jerome Foundation Composers Commissioning Grant, $7500, with the Zeitgeist new music ensemble of St. Paul, Minnesota, for the creation of a new composition, a forty-four smokeless, 2007.

  • Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France, fellowship in music composition, 2006.

  • Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Taos, New Mexico fellowship in music composition, 2005.

  • Djerassi Artist Resident Program, Woodside, California, artist fellow, 2003, 2000.

  • Third place in the category for instruments and computer, Pierre Schaeffer Computer Music Competition, the Accademia Musicale Pescarese (Italy), for Meadows of Flame, amplified piano and Max-programmed MIDI keyboard, 2002.

  • MacDowell Colony, Norton Stevens Fellow in music composition, Peterborough, New Hampshire, 2002.

  • Winner of the Inter-American Music Awards for Vigils for solo piano, Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies, Inc., 2000

  • Southern Regional Visiting Composer, American Academy in Rome, Italy, 1998

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