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B.M. in Music Composition

School of Fine Arts and Communication


The Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Composition at Biola's Conservatory of Music will give you opportunities to compose concert and film music, learn valuable skills in music business and technology; and explore what it means to be a composer committed to Christ.

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Why Choose Music Composition at Biola?

  • Biola University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music
  • Highly experienced, dedicated faculty
  • Strong academic preparation for graduate school
  • State of the art composition studio
  • Numerous opportunities for original works to be performed and recorded
  • Close proximity to Los Angeles
  • Competitions and National Conferences such as PERC, CFAMC
  • Special scholarship awards
  • Small, close-knit community of Christian believers

What Will I Study?

Each year you will write in a wide variety of styles while studying privately with some of the finest composers in the Los Angeles area. Annual concerts feature the works of Conservatory composition students while additional competitions provide feedback from Conservatory and guest judges. Composition students also partner with Biola's Cinema and Media Arts department, gaining valuable experience in scoring for film. A large and talented studio of composition majors will give you a community to thrive in, and Biola's proximity to Los Angeles, one of the artistic centers of the world, puts you in just the right location to experience the music industry firsthand.

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Hannah Parrott

Through the faculty's integrated encouragement and honest critique, I have been apprenticed in my craft, equipped to see and to listen, to diagnose and to learn. They have aided in coaxing my intentions and creative fragments into unique realities, and they have shown me the immense possibilities while putting the tools in my hands. Biola's Composition Area provided a place for me to be richly and individually challenged, stretched, strengthened and matured, and through their mentorship, I am able to confidently continue this lifelong journey of learning!

Composer, Orchestrator, Arranger
Composition (Piano), B.M. '14
Alex Lu

My experience as a student at Biola was transformative, both musically and spiritually. The first-rate music faculty was nurturing and supportive of me, even years after I graduated. I am blessed to have made friends with students and faculty who continue to enrich my life.

Composer, Pianist, Educator
Composition and Performance (Piano), B.M. '04
Melissa Miles

In the composition area at Biola, you can tailor your education to what fits your interests. Since I was particularly interested in writing for musical theatre, I spent much of my time during my last year honing my songwriting skills. Although I focused more on composing for theatre, I felt like my experience studying composition at Biola was very well rounded and I had the chance to write in many genres and for many instruments/ensembles as well.

Composition (Violin), B.M.
Judith Hill

Everywhere you go, you wear your faith. When you have the Holy Spirit, when you have that core, it doesn’t falter. No matter what major, what classes you’re in or what you’re studying, soak it up. It’s what shapes you... Soak up the serenity, those peaceful places on campus. Once you leave, you have to be a lot more intentional.

Grammy Award Winning Performing Artist, Actress, Songwriter
Composition (Keyboard and Voice), B.M. '05
Joel Balzun

My experiences at Biola - especially those with applied faculty - helped me solidify the connection and intersection that is present between my craft as a musician, and my identity as a child of God. As I return to join the applied voice faculty, I hope that I can help my students identify the same crucial intersection that has informed my own musical preparation and performance.

Baritone, Composer, Educator
Composition (Voice), B.M. '13
4 years
Standard Duration
This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary depending on transferred coursework and preferred courseload.
Total Program Credits
Total program credits include a combination of major/concentration, Bible/theology and general education credits.
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.

Career Paths

Whether it's writing music for the big screen, composing music for the world's great concert halls, or teaching composition and theory at the university level, our graduates are impacting the world for Jesus Christ in professions such as:

  • Composer
  • Copyist
  • Film score writer
  • Music arranger
  • Film music orchestrator
  • Principal accompanist
  • Professor of composition

What are Graduates Doing Now?

Many composition students pursue graduate studies, while others move directly into the music industry. Biola music composition graduates have become recognizable masters in their artistry. Highlights include:

  • Grammy Award Winning Performing Artist
  • Winner of The ASCAP Foundation Max Dreyfus Scholarship
  • Film Composer and Orchestrator for Warner Bros. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • ASCAP Composer to Watch
  • Nomination for the Best Original Score: Biola Film Festival and Southeastern 180 Film Festival
  • Featured Solo Violinist Seattle Pacific University Jazz Ensemble
  • Assistant to Academy & Emmy Award Winner, Todd Boekelheide
  • Graduate study at prestigious schools such as New York University, European American Musical Alliance in Paris, University of Southern California, Eastman School of Music, and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

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