Omar Surillo

Adjunct Professor of Music, Music Theory

Omar Surillo, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is an award-winning composer, producer/engineer and multi-instrumentalist from the Orlando area. His music has been performed nationally and internationally in various ensembles ranging from classical to rock. Surillo received his master of music in music composition from the Yale School of Music in May 2011. Earlier studies include a bachelor of music in music theory and composition from Stetson University in 2008 and an associate of arts degree from Valencia College in 2006.

Prior to coming to Stetson University, Surillo performed keyboards for R&B/pop girl group, Cleopatra, aboard Disney Cruise Line's Magic cruise ship. The concert celebrated the ship's maiden voyage and aired on the Disney Channel in September 1998. Between 1999 and 2004, he toured extensively as a drummer and guitarist for rock groups Unsung Zeros, Mashlin and Agent Felix; opening for acts such as The Ataris, Thursday, MxPx, The Starting Line and Yellowcard.

In 2006, Surillo began pursuing his undergraduate degree from Stetson University, where he studied music composition with Sydney Hodkinson and Manuel de Murga. While at Stetson University, he was awarded the title of Stetson Piano Scholar in 2006, selected as an associate artist for the Atlantic Center for the Arts in 2008 (with David Lang in residence), and inducted into the music honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda in 2008. In 2009, Surillo began pursuing his master's degree at the Yale School of Music, where he studied with composers Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ingram Marshall, Jack Vees and Christopher Theofanidis. While at Yale, he was awarded the Frances E. Osborne Kellogg Memorial Prize for best composition in a contrapuntal style and the Baumgardner Scholarship to attend the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.

After graduating from Yale, Surillo went on to teach audio production, advanced music theory and composition classes at ACES Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, Conn. Aside from his teaching duties, Surillo remains an active composer and is often called upon to write, collaborate and record with artists in Poland, Venezuela, California, New York and Indiana. He currently resides in Orlando where he enjoys spending time with his fiancée, Heather, and chasing after his bulldog, Dexter.


  • M.M., music composition, Yale School of Music, 2011
  • B.M., music theory and composition, Stetson University, 2008
  • A.A., Valencia College, 2006

Omar Surillo

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