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Paul Dooley

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Paul Dooley


Paul Dooley (b. 1983, Santa Rosa, California) is an American composer. With the passionate guidance of two musically progressive parents, he began his musical career by playing in a wide range of genres: from drum set and piano in rock and jazz groups to orchestral percussion. At age 12, he began studying composition and improvisation with Doc Collins, and later with Charles Sepos.

Mr. Dooley earned a degree in music composition, and a second bachelors degree in mathematics, at the University of Southern California, where his mentors included Frank Ticheli, Stephen Hartke and Frederick Lesemann. Dooley is currently completing a doctorate in composition at the University of Michigan, where he works primarily with composers Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng and Evan Chambers.

Recent commissions include Scordatura Music Society (Brisé (2011)), the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble (Forgotten Highway (2011)), and the Michigan Music Teachers Association and National Music Teachers Association (Gradus (2009)).

In 2011-2012, Mr. Dooley was composer-in-residence with the Detroit Chamber Winds. This featured the premiere of Salt of the Earth (2012) for brass ensemble and percussion, conducted by H. Robert Reynolds. Other performances of Dooley’s music include those by Alarm Will Sound, the Charlotte Symphony, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, American Youth Symphony, Chautauqua Festival Orchestra, American Philharmonic, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, USC Thornton Symphony, USC Thornton Wind Ensemble, University of Michigan Symphony Band, Frost Wind Ensemble, the Aspen Music Festival’s American Academy of Conducting Orchestra, and a reading by the Detroit Symphony, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

In 2012-2013 Dooley is a Lecturer in Performing Arts Technology at the University of Michigan. While at the University of Michigan, Dooley has taught courses in electronic music, co-directed the 2009 Midwest Composers Symposium and in 2010 was coordinator of the ONCE. MORE. Festival, a 50-year anniversary of the ONCE Festival of Contemporary Music.

Mr. Dooley's path has embraced not only his Western Classical heritage, but also a cross-cultural range of contemporary music, dance, art, technology and the interactions between the human and natural worlds. A band version of Dooley’s composition Point Blank (2012) was recently commissioned by a consortium of fourteen bands organized by Gary Green of the University of Miami Frost Wind Ensemble. His music has been described as "impressive and beautiful" by American composer Steve Reich.

Mr. Dooley has received a wide range of prizes for his work, including: a 2010 BMI composer award for Gradus (2009) for solo cello, a 2008 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for Dani’s Dance (2007) for piano trio, a fellowship to the 2008 Aspen Music Festival Composition Masterclass with Christopher Rouse, a Regents fellowship to the University of Michigan.

Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Brown, Andrea. "Mavericks." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 947-956. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.
  • McCallum, Wendy. "Point Blank." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 10, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 993-1001. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2015.
  • Pasquale, John D. "Meditations at Lagunitas." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 752-760. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.
  • Paul Dooley website
  • Schwartz, Robert M. "Masks and Machines." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 739-751. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.