Make a sound decision for your future. Music Composition

The Wheaton College Conservatory of Music offers a world-class musical education that enhances habits of mind, personal discipline, and abstract thinking applicable to an astonishing range of careers, including and well beyond music and the arts.

Credential Type

  • B.M.

Major Credits Required

  • 92

Offered As

  • Major

98.9% employed or in graduate school

Within six months of graduation, nearly 99% of Wheaton’s Class of 2021 found work in their field or continued their education.

650 seats in our concert hall

Participate in productions and performances in the state-of-the-art Armerding Center for Music and the Arts.

9 ensembles

Audition for and perform with one or more of Wheaton’s music ensembles.

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Choral concert rehearsal in Armending Hall

Christ-Centered Creativity Why Wheaton for Music Composition?

students in recording studio

With this degree you will gain comprehensive training aimed at developing skills and imagination necessary to create compelling music in a variety of professional contexts. The program encourages openness to diverse styles and genres and emphasizes growth in craft and purposeful creativity. You will have access to our state-of-the-art Digital Music Studio to enhance your educational experience. Concerts of student works are presented at the end of each semester, and a full composition recital is required in the senior year.

Music Degree Options

The Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College offers several other degree and major options, including:

B.M. in Performance: comprehensive music training that encourages the formation of performance artists who contribute to the Church and society. Concentrate in piano, organ, voice, or an orchestral instrument.

B.M. in Music History & Literature: focused on preparing students for further study in musicology or related fields.

B.M. in Pedagogy: designed for students interested in becoming a private studio music teacher; music pedagogy also serves as a solid foundation for graduate study.

B.M. of Music Education: prepares students to become certified to teach music in Illinois; focuses on choral and instrumental training.

B.M. with Elective Studies in an Outside Field: allows students to gain comprehensive training in music while gaining expertise in another area of study.

B.A. in Music: enables students to study music and performance in the context of the liberal arts while embracing resources of the Conservatory or Music.

Faces and Spaces Where You’ll Learn, Who You’ll Meet

Shawn Okpebholo

Our Faculty

Our esteemed, international Conservatory faculty is made up of scores of musicologists and professional artists: vocalists, instrumentalists, composers, conductors, educators, and church music directors.

Choral Showcase 2022 in the Armerding Concert Hall

Our Facilities

Wheaton College’s 90,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Armerding Center is home to a 650-seat concert hall, a 108-seat recital hall, digital recording studies, and other learning, gathering, and rehearsal spaces. Other venues include the 2,400-seat Edman Chapel, the 900-seat auditorium in Pierce Chapel, and the 500-seat Barrows Auditorium.

Wheaton College Conservatory of Music Jazz Combo 2022

Our Experiences

Audition for one (or more!) of our ensembles, which include Jazz Ensemble, Concert Choir, Percussion Ensemble, Opera Main Stage, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Women’s Chorale, and Men’s Glee Club. Outside the Conservatory, opportunities to make music include the chapel worship band, gospel choir, and a student-led a cappella group.

4 flutes, symphonic band
Program Highlight: Performance Opportunities

Making Music at Wheaton

Music is integral to worship, and the church is typically one of the first places people experience the power of music. At Wheaton College, music is embedded into nearly every aspect of campus life, from chapel services to student-led a cappella. At Wheaton, you can use your God-given talent to lead others in worship -- and also hit the road for an ensemble tour. 


WITH Wheaton Opportunities Across Campus & Beyond

Interdisciplinary learning is a way of life at Wheaton. Aside from your work within your chosen major, you can enrich your educational experience and connect with peers and professors across campus (and beyond) in many ways.

Real-World Learning at Wheaton & Beyond

  • Wheaton in Chicago
  • Arts in London
  • Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR Program)
  • Faculty-mentored, collaborative research
  • Other study abroad and domestic travel experiences 
  • Teaching and research assistantships 
  • Campus ministries
  • Involvement in local congregations

Related Centers, Organizations & Co-Curriculars

  • Pep Band
  • Nelson Center for Sacred Music
  • Amplify (co-ed a cappella group)
  • Illinois Collegiate Music Education Association (ILCMEA)
  • Arena Theater
  • Jukebox Theater

Additional Academic Opportunities: Common Minors, Certificates & Second Majors

  • Theater Minor
  • Worship Arts Certificate 
  • Discipleship Certificate
  • Certificate for Mission Studies


Alma De Christo Score
MUSIC for Christ & His Kingdom

Faith and Learning at Wheaton

A Wheaton education is built on the foundation of our unique Christ at the Core general education curriculum. Music moves us deeply and brings us together. At Wheaton, we believe that music is an act of worship. Not only do our students become better musicians, but they grow spiritually and intellectually and become better people as they endeavor to follow Jesus Christ in all aspects of their lives.

Success After Wheaton What You Can Do With a Degree in Music?

Whether they concentrate on composition, pursue performance, or focus on music pedagogy, Wheaton’s multifaceted music program prepares talented students for a range of careers on stage, backstage, and beyond.

Music majors go into a variety of industries and find positions such as:

  • Church production manager
  • Classical Music Editor
  • Score composer
  • Attorney at law
  • Music School Owner and educator
  • Worship ministry assistant

And they work, teach, and perform with organizations like:

  • Musicnotes
  • Wheaton Yamaha School of Music
  • Lyric Opera in Chicago
  • Metropolitan Opera
  • Chicago Sinfionetta
  • Hal Leonard Publishers
920x613 30under30 alumni elliot leung
Music Alumni in Action

Elliot Leung '16

“I was able to have a very individualized education at Wheaton. . . That prepared me well to write symphonic repertoire every day, as well as to take control in recording sessions.”

- Elliot Leung ’16

To compose the score for the 2019 Chinese action film Operation Red Sea, Elliot Leung ’16 often pulled 12-hour days in his studio writing, orchestrating, and mixing. But the film composer’s hard work paid off: Operation Red Sea ended up grossing $580 million USD. In addition to film scores, the Wheaton College graduate who grew up in Hong Kong also created music for television, video games, and theater productions—roles that he says the Conservatory of Music helped prepare him for.

Read More About Elliot

RESOURCES & LINKS For Current Music Students

If you’re a current student or want to dig deeper in this area of study, here are some additional resources for you to explore.

Department Website

Visit the Conservatory of Music website for more information on faculty, curriculum, opportunities and other details.

Course Requirements

Visit the Wheaton College catalog for specific degree requirements and course descriptions.

Next Steps

Interested in studying music composition with the Wheaton College Conservatory? Request more information or start your application today.