Faculty & Staff Profiles

Paul Dooley

Lecturer of Performing Arts Technology

Paul 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. His music has been described as “impressive and beautiful” by American composer Steve Reich.

Dooley’s orchestral music has been commissioned and performed by, among many others, the Detroit Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Macau Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, United Nations Chamber Music Society, Omaha Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Amarillo Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Nu Deco Ensemble, and Alarm Will Sound, in addition to wind ensembles such as “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” and the United States Navy Band.

Recent works include Northern Nights (2017), an EDM-inspired electronic percussion concerto for Lisa Pegher and the Lansing Symphony, Mondrian’s Studio (2019), for horn and wind ensemble, for Adam Unsworth and the University of Michigan Symphony Band, Manifestos (2019) for the universities of the Big 12 Conference, and The Conductor’s Spellbook (2016), an educational, interactive, and entertaining work for young audiences, which has received more than 60 performances since its 2016 premiere, originally commissioned by the Naples Philharmonic.

Born in Santa Rosa, California in 1983, Dooley began his musical life listening to Beethoven, Bruce Hornsby, Nirvana, and Rush. At the age of 13, Dooley began a long mentorship with singer, songwriter, improvisor, and gifted counselor Gary “Doc” Collins. In high school Dooley also studied composition with Charles Sepos, before earning bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and music composition at the University of Southern California (2002-2007) with Frank Ticheli and Stephen Hartke, and a master’s and doctorate degree at the University of Michigan (2007-2013) with Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng, and Evan Chambers.

In 2013 Dooley joined the music faculty at the University of Michigan. He created and directs the Performing Arts Technology department’s annual Computer Music Showcase. He also co-directed the Midwest Composers Symposium and was coordinator of the “ONCE. MORE.” festival, a celebration of the 50 year anniversary of the ONCE Festival of Contemporary Music, and was co-awarded a grant from the Gilbert Whitaker Fund for the Improvement of Teaching.

Dooley’s music is the subject of several doctoral dissertations including: “Paul Dooley’s Masks and Machines: A Formal Analysis and Instructional Guide” by Kevin M. Callihan, University of Kentucky; “MANIFESTOS for Wind Ensemble by Paul Dooley: A Critical Analysis” by Eddie W. Airheart, Texas Christian University; and “A Conductor’s Guide and Analysis of Selected Works by Paul Dooley” by Jason Gardner, University of Illinois.

Dooley is a frequent guest of professional orchestras, university wind ensembles, and festivals in the United States and around the world. His works have been performed in significant venues including Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Royce Hall, Hill Auditorium, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, Sala Filharmonia Warszawa, Singapore’s Victoria Concert Hall, and Chicago’s Symphony Center, and featured on several episodes of NPR’s “Performance Today” with Fred Child.

Dooley has received a wide range of awards for his work, including both the 2016 Sousa/ABA/Ostwald Award and the 2015 William D. Revelli Prize for Masks and Machines (2015); the 2013 Jacob Druckman Award for orchestral composition from the Aspen Music Festival for Point Blank (2011); a young composer award from Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) for Dani’s Dance (2007); and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) young composer award for Gradus (2009).

Dooley’s recordings can be heard on, among others, Naxos, Equilibrium, Soundset, Mark Records, GIA Wind Works, and Block M Records.

Dooley’s music is published by Paul Dooley Music. For more information on his music, visit and


BA (mathematics), BM (composition), University of Southern California
MM, DMA (composition), University of Michigan

Selected Musical Scores

Northern Nights (PDF) (2017) an electronic dance music concerto for percussion and orchestra. Paul Dooley Music.

Masks and Machines (PDF) (2015) for wind ensemble (2016 Sousa/ABA/Ostwald Award & 2015 William D. Revelli Prize). Paul Dooley Music.

Gradus (PDF) (2009) for solo cello (Broadcast Music Incorporated Composer Award). Paul Dooley Music.

Dissertations on Paul Dooley’s Music

“A Critical Analysis of Paul Dooley’s Manifestos for Wind Ensemble,” Eddie Airheart (Texas Christian University, 2019)

“A Conductor’s Guide and Analysis of Selected Works by Paul Dooley,” Jason Gardner (University of Illinois, 2019)

“Paul Dooley’s Masks and Machines: A formal analysis and instructional guide,” Kevin Callihan (University of Kentucky, 2018)

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