Close this search box.

Composition (BMus)

Build the foundation for a life in composition, learning the skills to craft music well and the knowledge to work in the professional music field.

sheet musicweb500
DSC 3921

Why Composition? (BMus)

Studying Composition gives you the opportunity to explore your own unique compositional voice with expert and professional guidance. Specialty coursework includes Advanced Orchestration, Counterpoint, and Vocal Arranging. Hear your works performed by collegiate ensembles and groups throughout your degree, and get prepared to work in the professional music world.

Composition (BMus) at Cairn

Biblical Integration

Learn in an interdisciplinary program within a biblical, Christian context

Academic Opportunity

Gain a knowledge of music technology

Experienced Faculty

Develop under the direction of faculty who are accomplished musicians and educators

Campus Location

Take part in the vibrant music cultures of Philadelphia (30 minutes away) and NYC (just over an hour away)

Campus Community

Create works that are performed by Cairn music ensembles

more Details

Get an inside look at our Composition Program

There are over 70 unique programs at Cairn to choose from! Not sure if this is the best program for you? Here are some more details to help you decide.

Required Credits: 127

Curriculum Highlights: 

    • MUS 248 Choral Literature
    • MUS 521 Music in the Church
    • MUS 590 Senior Recital
    • MUS 522 Worship: Past and Present


College professor

Church music director

Further graduate study

DSC09465 2 scaled

Connect With Us

of students who apply for financial aid receive funds
1 %
In possible merit scholarships available for each student
$ 1
scholarships and awards available
1 +

An Affordable Education

While the cost of a Cairn University education is competitive with similar institutions, we realize you may need financial assistance to take this journey.  You are not alone. 97% of our full-time undergraduate students receive some form of financial assistance. 

Meet Our Faculty

Scott Watson web 1000

Scott Watson

Faculty, School of Music

Dr. Scott Watson is a full-time faculty member teaching various courses in the School of Music. For 35 years prior to coming to Cairn, Scott was a band director and elective music teacher in the Parkland School District (Allentown, PA). Additionally, he taught music theory full-time at Temple University for one year and continues to serve as an adjunct instructor at several Philadelphia-area universities. Scott is a frequently commissioned and published composer, whose award-winning music has been performed at prestigious venues including Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, and the White House. Scott is an exclusive composer for Alfred Music, with over 100 published works for band and orchestra at all levels. Watson is also a sought-after clinician who has delivered sessions and professional development training at music conferences and for school music departments around the U.S. His book, Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity, is published by Oxford University Press.

Scott and his wife, Kim, have two adult children, Benjamin and Abigail, who are both music teachers themselves. The Watsons attend Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship Church, where Scott plays keyboard in the worship. Whenever he can get away, you can find Scott with his family “down the shore” visiting his parents in Cape May, reading a good non-fiction book.

Virginia Whitney

Virginia Whitney

Adjunct Professor, School of Music

A native of Trenton, NJ, Virginia graduated from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in 1978 with a BMus in theory and composition. While a student there, she studied with Vida Chenoweth, one of the early pioneers in developing a model for understanding the structure of unwritten non-Western music systems as a tool for helping minority peoples develop Christian hymnody.

From 1982-2001, she and her husband served with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Papua New Guinea as Bible translators with the Akoye people, being involved in the translation and literacy process, as well as encouraging ethnic hymnody with the Akoye and people of other language groups.

Since returning to the USA, she has been an active member of Lansdale Presbyterian Church (PCA) where she has served as music director and accompanist. She has recently become involved in ethnomusicology fieldwork again by researching the music of the Oroko people of Cameroon, with the goal of encouraging the Christians to use their local music styles in worship. Virginia has also worked with several other people groups in Cameroon, as well as some in The Gambia and Peru.

What Our Students Have To Say

DSC 1540
Jennalyn Stuart

Music is a redemptive art that should be used to glorify God and point others to Him, and that is the overall purpose that this program emphasizes. Both my faith and career path have been impacted by participating in this program, and I am very thankful for all I have learned as a result!

Apply Now

Ready to take the next step? You can apply today!