Many Lawrence graduates go on to become music theorists and composers; some do both! Distinguished alumni/ae include music theorist and composer Fred Lerdahl, Fritz Reiner Professor at Columbia University, and music theorist Janet Schmalfeldt, Professor of Music emerita at Tufts University.

Recent distinguished alums include:
 

• David Keep, '11, graduated from Lawrence with a B.Mus. in piano performance and subsequently earned a master's degree in piano at Indiana University.  He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in music theory at the Eastman School of Music. A scholar/performer specializing in the music of Johannes Brahms, Dave explores in his dissertation the idea of "re-creativity" in Brahms's Opp. 80-90.

• Benjamin J. M. Klein, '05, graduated from Lawrence magna cum laude with degrees in music theory/composition and tuba performance. He subsequently received a master's degree in music composition from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in music composition, creative studies, and media from the University of Minnesota.  Ben returned to Lawrence to teach theory and composition in 2015-16. He currently teaches at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

• Rene Rusch, '00, is Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Michigan, having previously taught at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. Rene graduated from Lawrence with honors in piano performance. A specialist in the music of Franz Schubert, her research interests also include nineteenth-century chromaticism, Schenkerian analysis, and jazz theory.

Stephen Rodgers, '98, was awarded a prestigious Mellon Fellowship to pursue the Ph.D. in Music Theory at Yale University, where he completed his dissertation on a study of the metaphorical relationship between musical form and literary program in the music of Berlioz. At Lawrence, Steve completed a double major in Music and English; during his senior year, he was invited to read his paper "'This Body that Beats:' Roland Barthes on Robert Schumann's Kreisleriana" at the annual meeting of Music Theory Midwest held at the University of Louisville. He is currently Professor of Music Theory and Musicianship at the University of Oregon. Steve's research explores the relationship between music and poetry, focusing on the work of nineteenth-century composers. He is currently writing a book on the songs of Clara Schumann.

Peter Martens, '96, is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Associate Director for Graduate Programs at the Texas Tech University School of Music.  At Lawrence, Pete received the  B.Mus. in Music Education and a B.A. in Classics, after which he completed M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the History and Theory of Music from the University of Chicago. In his dissertation "Beat-Finding, Listener Strategies, and Music Meter," Pete combined research models from music theory and music psychology to pursue the elemental but complicated question of where listeners locate the main beat in music. Other research interests include rhythm and meter in popular music, questions of perception in the recorded legacy of pianist Glenn Gould, and the history of music theory. From 2015-2018 Pete served as President of the Texas Society for Music Theory.

Brooke Joyce, '95, received the M.Mus. degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Ph.D. in composition at Princeton University. At Lawrence, Brooke's senior thesis for the B.Mus. degree was an opera composed to a libretto by Professor Fred Gaines of the Department of Theatre and Drama. He is currently Associate Professor of Music and Composer-in-residence at Luther College, where he teaches music theory, contemporary music history, electronic music, composition, counterpoint, and orchestration. 

Jason Hoogerhyde, '91, completed the M.Mus. in Composition at Boston University, where he studied with Lukas Foss, and the D.M.A. in Composition at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, where his principal teacher was Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. From 1999-2004, Jason served his alma mater as a lecturer in Music Theory and Composition. He is currently Associate Professor of Music at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.