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Elena Specht

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Elena Specht


Composer Elena Specht (b. 1993, Evanston, Ill.) is an American composer and educator.

Dr. Specht completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Michigan State University, where she is a University Distinguished Fellow; her primary composition professor was David Biedenbender. She previously completed her master's in composition at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she studied with Daniel Kellogg and Carter Pann. While at CU, she participated in the Exchange of Midwestern Collegiate Composers Conference and the New Opera Works – Composer Fellows’ Initiative, served on the Pendulum New Music Committee, and had her music performed by the Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra, the Denver Pops Orchestra, the CU Wind Symphony, and the Altius Quartet, among others. She received a Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude in composition with minors in horn performance and American studies from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, where she studied composition with Michael Slayton and Michael Rose, and horn with Leslie Norton. At Vanderbilt, she was active in the Composers’ Forum and performed on horn in Blair's wind ensemble and orchestra.

Dr. Specht writes instrumental and vocal concert music with an emphasis on colorful textures, lively rhythms, and graceful lyricism. Her music is inspired by the grandeur of nature, thought-provoking questions, and compelling stories.Her’s music is enjoyed by both beginning and professional musicians, and it reaches diverse audiences. She specializes in music for bands and wind ensembles, and she is currently the composer/arranger for the Wind Ensemble of the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras.

Specht is also passionate about music theory and musicology pedagogy. At CU, she was a teaching assistant in music theory and has taught basic music theory, aural skills 1, 3 and 4. For two summers, she served as a teaching assistant at Duke University's Talent Identification Program for a 20th century music history class for gifted high school students. At Vanderbilt, she was a musicology and music theory student assistant and served as a music theory tutor. She also has experience teaching private lessons and tutoring.

Elena is visiting assistant professor of music at Kalamazoo College, where she teaches courses in music theory and music appreciation. She has previously taught music theory, aural skills, and composition at the college level at Michigan State University and the University of Colorado Boulder. She has additional teaching experience in music history, horn, and piano. She has presented research in composition and theory at the Exchange of Midwestern Collegiate Composers Conference, the University of Connecticut Graduate Music Conference, and the Midwest Music Research Collective Conference.

Works for Winds


  • Elena Specht website Accessed 13 April 2017
  • The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 482.