History

 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.

In 2017, the School of Music partnered with some of the foremost worship leaders and ministry experts in the nation to launch a new undergraduate degree in Worship Arts and Ministry. These men and women serve not only on our Worship Arts steering board, but also serve in an adjunct faculty capacity to train worship leaders in the church for ministry.

We continue to expand our degree offerings for students considering a career in a music-related field, and over the next year, we will be adding the following degrees and concentrations in the School of Music:

  • Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music (performance, studio production, film composition or songwriting)
  • Bachelor of Science in Commercial Music (music business, electrical engineering, or software engineering)
  • Master of Arts in Worship Arts
  • Concentrations which can be added to any degree program: opera / musical theater, studio production, music business, songwriting, jazz studies or worship arts.

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. At CBU, we believe in inspiring students to Live out Their Purpose. Eph. 2:10 tells us that “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that He has prepared for us…” This means that God has designed each one of us with a specific set of strengths and abilities to facilitate the realization of His plan for our lives.

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.

In 2017, the School of Music partnered with some of the foremost worship leaders and ministry experts in the nation to launch a new undergraduate degree in Worship Arts and Ministry. These men and women serve not only on our Worship Arts steering board, but also serve in an adjunct faculty capacity to train worship leaders in the church for ministry.

We continue to expand our degree offerings for students considering a career in a music-related field, and over the next year, we will be adding the following degrees and concentrations in the School of Music:

  • Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music (performance, studio production, film composition or songwriting)
  • Bachelor of Science in Commercial Music (music business, electrical engineering, or software engineering)
  • Master of Arts in Worship Arts
  • Concentrations which can be added to any degree program: opera / musical theater, studio production, music business, songwriting, jazz studies or worship arts.

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. At CBU, we believe in inspiring students to Live out Their Purpose. Eph. 2:10 tells us that “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that He has prepared for us…” This means that God has designed each one of us with a specific set of strengths and abilities to facilitate the realization of His plan for our lives.