Founded in 2002, the Shelby and Ferne Collinsworth School of Music at California Baptist University began with a small number of dedicated faculty, staff and students. The School of Music flourished under the direction of its first dean, Dr. Gary Bonner, who established what remains one of the hallmarks of the CBU music culture; its eight major performance ensembles that consist of over 500 participants. These ensembles enjoy a rigorous concert schedule, touring nationally each year. In 2005, through the leadership of Dr. Bonner, a state-of-the-art, 33,000 square-foot music building was constructed, complete with numerous large rehearsal spaces, classrooms, practice rooms, and a full professional recording studio.
Upon Dr. Gary Bonner’s retirement in 2012, his son, Dr. Judd Bonner, assumed the position of Dean of the school. Under Dr. Judd Bonner’s leadership, the CBU Symphony Orchestra was born, a new Master of Music in Composition was launched, and state approval for the Single Subject Matter Competency in music was completed.
Currently, the Collinsworth School of Music is moving into another era of expanding its impact in the world. Under the direction of its new dean, Dr. Joseph Bolin, the School of Music is building on the legacy of the past with a renewed focus on training consummate musicians for success in the classroom, the performance and theatrical stage, and the 21st-century Church.
To this end, the CBU School of Music is excited to announce the development of a new undergraduate degree in Worship Arts and Leadership currently being designed by some of the foremost worship leaders and ministry experts in the nation. The degree is set to launch in the fall of 2017.
The Collinsworth School of Music has a strong legacy of crafting musical excellence and investing in the lives of young people. It remains dedicated to providing the highest quality musical education for undergraduate and graduate students alike, challenging them to live out their purpose by developing their God-given talents to their full potential.