2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
    Apr 15, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Division of Music

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The Division of Music offers degrees in composition, worship studies, music education, performance, and musical arts to prepare graduates for careers as composers, church musicians, music educators, and performers.

The Division of Music fosters academic rigor, creativity, and aesthetic and spiritual growth in all of its curricular offerings and performance opportunities.

  • We are dedicated to assisting students in discovering and articulating their aspirations, achieving their artistic goals, and influencing culture for the cause of Christ.
  • We endeavor to produce graduates that are excellent musicians, able and creative performers, and enthusiastic teachers of the musical arts.
  • We prepare students to make music that is an act of service and worship, relating it to God’s creativity.
  • We provide opportunities for creative, culturally enriching experiences for the university, community, and world.

Vision Statement

The Division of Music endeavors to have worldwide influence as a center of skillful and innovative music making through the development of creative leaders who use their ability and art to witness faithfully for Christ and to advocate for the musical arts.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Division of Music is to educate outstanding artists who will influence and enrich individuals, schools, churches, and communities around the world by glorifying Christ through music. We realize this mission through music study and performance designed to develop quality core musicianship, creativity, and collaborative skills.

Chair, Music

Kelsey D’Emilio
Chair, Division of Music
Assistant Professor of Music

B.M., Oberlin College and Conservatory, 2011
M.M., Westminster Choir College, 2013
D.M.A., University of Oklahoma, 2021
Joined the OBU faculty in 2018.


Mark Franklin
Assistant Professor of Music

B.M., Wheaton College, 2015
M.M., Florida State University, 2017
D.M., Florida State University, 2021
Joined the OBU faculty in 2021.

Timothy Kaiser
Assistant Professor of Music

B.M.E., University of the Pacific, 2003
M.M., University of Texas at Arlington
D.M.A., University of Arizona, 2022
Joined the OBU faculty in 2022.

Louima Lilite
Associate Professor of Voice
Claire McGavern-Nancy Montgomery Professor in Music

B.M., Biola University, 1999
M.M., Pennsylvania State University, 2002
D.M.A., Eastman School of Music, 2008
Joined the OBU faculty in 2008.

Abigail Mace
Assistant Professor of Music/Director of Preparatory Department

B.M., Vanderbilt University, 2006
M.M., University of Texas at Austin, 2008
D.M.A., University of Texas at Austin, 2012
Joined the OBU faculty in 2018.

Claire Marquardt
Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Preparatory Department

B.S., East Central University
M.M., University of Oklahoma
M.M., University of Central Oklahoma
Joined the OBU faculty in 2022.

Patricia Nelson
Associate Professor of Music Education

B.A., Trinity University, 1985
M.M., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2006
Ed.D., Baylor University, 2013
Joined the OBU faculty in 2018.

Stephen R. Sims
Associate Professor of Music 
B.M.E., Oklahoma Baptist University, 2000
M.C.M., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2005
D.M.A., Texas Tech University, 2015
Joined the OBU faculty in 2016.

Career Opportunities

Music Ministry
Private Studio Teaching
Public and Private School Music Teaching

Degree Requirements

All students in Music degree programs must take the prescribed Music Theory Placement Examination and the Class Piano Examination before enrolling as a music major. These examinations typically occur either during audition times or prior to enrollment. Students, based on their performance on these examinations, are placed in the appropriate section of music theory, aural skills, and class piano.

Students who wish to apply Transfer or Advanced Placement credit for music theory and aural skills courses must take the Music Transfer Placement Examination. This examination is typically done prior to the start of classes each fall. Based on their performance on this examination, students will be given the appropriate transfer credit for their prior work in these subjects. Students are advised that because each music program sequences music theory and aural skills in various ways it may be appropriate to place students in levels of study they have already completed at another institution. Advanced Placement credit is also confirmed through the same examination; students passing the examination will be granted the appropriate credit by exam and placed in advanced levels of music theory and aural skills.

Students who wish to apply Transfer credit for Applied Study will be required to either complete the Sophomore Barrier for applied study or complete a Transfer Study Audition in the performance area of their concentration.

All music students must complete private, applied music lessons in an auditioned area for consecutive semesters and at successive levels of study for the indicated number of credit hours. To progress to upper-level applied study, following four semesters of private lessons in the principal area, each music student must successfully complete the Sophomore Barrier, an assessment of performance skills and progress conducted by a faculty panel of applied instructors.

All music students must participate in a major ensemble (auditioned choral ensembles, Bison Brigade/Symphonic Winds, OBU/Shawnee Community Orchestra) according to their appropriate degree plan. Students who have performance/ensemble scholarships must audition for an ensemble in their performance area, and must participate every semester awarded.

All music students must study a secondary applied instrument or voice. Students whose principal applied areas are voice, winds, percussion, strings, or composition must study piano for a minimum of four semesters (six semesters for B.M.E. vocal certification) and must pass the piano proficiency prior to graduation. A voice proficiency will be given to all keyboard principals in the B.M.E. Vocal Certification degree and to all keyboard or instrumental principals in the B.M. Worship Studies degree at the end of four semesters of vocal study. Students who do not pass the piano or voice required proficiencies must continue to study until they pass the proficiency. Students will not be allowed to graduate without passing the proficiency required for their degree program.

All music students must complete at least three hours of Pedagogy according to their principal applied area. Vocal and keyboard students will complete at least one three hour course. Instrumental students will complete three semesters of Instrumental Pedagogy and Technique classes.

Students whose principal area is voice will complete Vocal Techniques to satisfy part of the applied lessons requirement each of the first four semesters of study.

Study in the Division of Music may be applied to the following degrees:

Bachelor of Music with a vocal, worship studies, keyboard, or composition area of concentration

Bachelor of Musical Arts with a major in music and a minor to be chosen from an outside field. Applied study in voice, piano, and instrumental

Bachelor of Music Education with a Standard Elementary-Secondary Certificate in Vocal Music or Instrumental Music


    Bachelor of MusicBachelor of Music EducationBachelor of Musical ArtsMinor

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