Our Faculty

Tom Schnauber

Associate Professor of Performing Arts

Contact Information

617 264-7772

Office Hours

Office: Marian Hall, Room 217

Office hours: Mondays, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.; Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Ph.D., M.Mus., University of Michigan; B.Mus., University of Southern California; Adv. Stud. Cert. SMPTV


German-American composer Tom Schnauber is currently Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Emmanuel College in Boston. A former member of Composers in Red Sneakers, he is Co-Founder of the Boston-based arts organization WordSong. He holds a Ph.D. in composition and theory from the University of Michigan. He has also studied French horn performance, ethnomusicology, and did a small stint in Hollywood scoring films no one will ever see.

A versatile composer, Schnauber enjoys writing for a variety of ensembles. His list of more than three-dozen works includes music for unaccompanied instruments, chamber ensembles, solo voice and vocal ensembles, string orchestra, percussion ensemble, and symphony orchestra. He has written opera, musicals, and incidental music for stage productions by Toledo University, Coe College, Emmanuel College, and Ann Arbor's Wild Swan Theater.

Schnauber has won several awards for composition, including both the grand prize and the music director's prize from the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin's 2006 International "Homage to Mozart" competition; the American Composer's Award from the Columbia Orchestra; and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Meritorious Achievement Award for Original Musical Score. Excerpts from his ungrand opera With Such Friends...were selected and performed by the New York City Opera as part of the VOX 2007 Showcase of New American Opera. The entire opera was premiered in August, 2010 by the Bluegrass Opera in Lexington, KY.

His music has been performed throughout the United States as well as in Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, and Taiwan by ensembles such as the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, the Columbia Orchestra, the NIH Philharmonia, Freon Ensemble, the Avalon String Quartet, and The Great Noise Ensemble. He has received commissions from ensembles such as the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, The Cambridge Madrigal Singers, Brave New Works, and the Falls Church Chamber Orchestra. Publishers of his music include Dramatic Publishing, Imagine Music Publishers, and Classical Vocal Repertoire.

In addition to writing music and teaching, Tom Schnauber has conducted various ensembles, including the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra, the Minnesota Symphonic Winds, and a fully staged production of The Gondoliers by the University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society. He is an avid collector and passionate listener of LPs and CDs, and is a proud Trekkie and Whovian.

What I Love About Emmanuel:

The enthusiasm of the students and the collegiality of the faculty.

Courses I Teach

  • PERF1321 ABCs of Music Notation
  • PERF2321 Harmony Through Creative Composition
  • PERF2322 Read and Sing!
  • PERFxxxx Composition (Directed Study)
  • PERF1301 Song: From the Monks to the Monkees
  • PERF1302 Music-Theater Through the Ages
  • PERF1304 Musics of the World
  • HONOR3901 Creating and Producing Music-Theater (Honors Program course)

Publications + Presentations

His music has been performed throughout the United States as well as in Germany, Russia, Italy, France, Spain, and Taiwan; and is published by, among others, Dramatic Publishing, Santa Barbara Music Publishers, and Classical Vocal Repertoire.

Grants + Recognition

Schnauber has won awards for composition from ASCAP, the Kennedy Center, the Columbia Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin.

Research Focus

Schnauber continues to compose music for various venues and programs. He is also Co-Founder of the arts organization WordSong, which has presented over 40 performances throughout the Eastern Seaboard of his works and works by other contemporary composers. WordSong is a new concert format in which one text is presented in multiple, newly composed settings and is the focus of directed conversation among composers, performers, and audiences. Schnauber also writes concert reviews for the online music journal Boston Musical Intelligencer, and has been a regular guest-lecturer for Rockport Music.  Currently, Schnauber is working with the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin (Moscow) on a CD of his works for string orchestra.