10 Reasons to Love the School of Music Right Now

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God’s people are a singing people. To perform and participate in music to worship and glorify the Lord is a command set in Scripture and a pillar of church liturgy across time and around the world. Because of this, it should be no surprise that the Chorale, a 40-person choir of worshippers, preceded the music program at our institution by over a decade. It is also the reason why the Bachelor of Music degree has remained a hallmark of our academic offerings since its introduction in 1967. Music delights the Lord; consequently, pursuit of excellence in this craft is not trivial.

The music programs have set a rhythm for the campus life of music and non-music majors alike for over 50 years. While much has changed, the new and the time-tested traditions, together, offer much to be excited about.

Here are 10 reasons to love the School of Music right now:

A Master’s Program That Serves the Church
The Worship and Music (MA) graduate program exists to equip more worship leaders for local congregations. This flexible, online program combines a robust study of worship theology and history with an industry-leading, practical study of music technology. Students complete the program by recording four arranged songs in a variety of formats.

Jazz Instruction From the Big Apple
New York saxophonist Daniel Bennett commutes weekly from Manhattan to Langhorne to teach our students the art of jazz. Bennett is a touring woodwind clinician and associate director of the New York Jazz Academy in Times Square. His jazz group, The Daniel Bennett Group, performs regularly at the Blue Note (NYC), Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club (London), Herb Alpert’s Vibrato (LA), and major venues throughout the world.

Sold-Out Musical Theater Performances
From The Secret Garden and Guys and Dolls to The Sound of Music and Into the Woods, the Cairn Opera Theater performances are a staple of the spring semester that brings family, friends, and community members to campus to enjoy. The actors benefit from the instruction and direction of Mrs. Robin Massie and Mr. Steven Condy, who regularly perform around the country in addition to directing the Cairn University stage.

Dr. Shockey Returned to Cairn Chorale
Dr. Shockey had served 35 years on the faculty of the School of Music when he retired from his position as chair of vocal
studies in May 2017. Lest anyone think he was gone for good, the beloved Chorale director returned this fall to lead the Chorale once again.

45 Years of Accreditation to Celebrate
The School of Music received its initial accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) in 1979 and has been in good standing with the accrediting body ever since.

The Music That Plays All Summer Long
When the last note of “Te Deum” at Spring Commencement fades, the campus does not stay quiet for long. After a few weeks break, the campus comes alive again with song when the Csehy Summer School of Music makes its home at Cairn for the summer. Led by alumnus and faculty member Graeme Burgan G’02, current Cairn students and alumni serve as camp counselors for hundreds of middle and high school students who want to study music from a Christian worldview.

The Students Who Enrich Campus Life
Between concerts, recitals, chapel worship, and off-campus performances, the students of the School of Music are responsible for over 70 events throughout the academic year. The various ensembles directed by the School of Music faculty also provide an opportunity for students of other majors to perform. For example, over 90% of the Gospel Choir are non-music majors!

Our Alumni Are Doing Great Things

Everything That’s New . . .

While students continue to pursue the School of Music’s hallmark programs like music performance and music education,
new offerings are also garnering students’ attention. The worship and music program is now offered as a BA degree, allowing for more course concentration on subjects most relevant to worship leaders, and a five-year track to a Music (BA) and MBA was also created. There are also several new programs that are coming soon, including a piano pedagogy major and a certification in piano technology.

Alongside building these new programs, we are also looking for new leadership. The provost’s office has been working closely with alumni to build a profile of the dean who will lead the School of Music as it adds new programs with new career opportunities for the next generation of music students.

. . . And All That’s Stayed the Same

Whether you graduated five or 50 years ago, the School of Music has changed since you left. There are new majors and new faces and new traditions. But there are some things that will never change. The School will continue to educate students according to high standards of musical excellence. And most importantly, the mission remains the same. Current and future Cairn University students will continue to be educated in the discipline of studying and performing music with the central goal of serving Christ in the church, society, and the world. Some things have and will change, but the focus stays the same. Soli deo Gloria.