Why Music?

Impact culture as a creative, thoughtful, highly capable musician. Discover the TWU Music Program.

Why Music?

Impact culture as a creative, thoughtful, highly capable musician. Discover the TWU Music Program.

Celebrate life + musical creativity at Trinity Western University.

Music fills our world and we believe that musical and cultural literacy are critical for Christian musicians. Our Music program provides Christ-centred mentorship and exciting peer collaborations, along with abundant opportunities to hone your musical and leadership skills. Mentorship from professors will take your passion for music and help you develop your ability to impact culture as a performer, educator, creator, or scholar.


Specialization in one of four options:

  • Performance - Prepare for a career in the performing arts and/or private music instruction.
  • Music Education - Develop your skills to teach in private or public schools.
  • General Music - Receive advanced professional training for a variety of musical careers such as conducting, composition, or a range of options within the music industry.
  • Worship Arts - Strengthen your skills, develop a firm theological foundation, and be inspired to help create the future of worship music. Internship at a local church is a key component of this program.


“At TWU, I learned to create music inspired by faith. Through the thoughtful instruction of my professors, I gained not only technical competence but more importantly, a deeper understanding of art and the world. Small classes fostered meaningful discussions and a desire for growth in students. I am thankful to have found an education that was both challenging and personal.”

SSHRC Award Recipient, 2011

Course Highlights

  • Worship Studies
  • Digital Recording
  • Junior and Senior Recitals
  • Vocal Pedagogy
  • Keyboard Pedagogy
  • Composition
  • Choral Literature
  • Introduction to Conducting
  • Instrumental Techniques
  • Foundations and Principles of Music Education


Instrumental Music - In small and large ensembles, you will sharpen your technical and artistic skills while learning to collaborate with grace and creativity. This vital part of the program will give you a wide variety of performance opportunities.

Choirs and Vocal Ensembles - As a part of our internationally recognized vocal ensembles, you will benefit from exposure to outstanding, eclectic repertoire, the opportunity to sing under distinguished conductors, and the chance to collaborate with professional choirs and orchestras.

Private Music Instruction - Receive instruction in voice, piano, guitar, and most band and orchestral instruments, all offered on campus by a roster of affiliate Music faculty who are also active as professional performers.

Recording Studio - Study in a digital music and audio post-production facility that features Cubase on a Mac platform, with a collection of professional audio production equipment. Three separate studios facilitate students learning outside of class time. Each recording class will develop your skills with technology to prepare you for practicum positions that serve clients on and off campus.


Our Music program prepares students for careers in a variety of areas such as performance, conducting, composition, digital studio work, church music, private lesson instruction, music publishing and more. Students may also choose to pursue further academic studies in performance, musicology, theory, conducting, or music education.


Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Important Dates

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Financial Aid

Investing in your future may require some help along the way. We offer merit and need-based awards to help offset the cost of tuition. Planning early is key and we are here to help get you started.

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Admission Requirements

The admissions process at TWU is designed to be simple and convenient. Once we receive your application and transcripts, you will be contacted by your admissions counsellor within two weeks on your admittance.

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Masterworks Chorus

TWU’s Masterworks Chorus is an auditioned community ensemble made up of approximately 70 singers, mostly faculty, staff and alumni of TWU. It’s also open to community members who just love to sing at a high level.

Careers in Music
Student playing guitar with a band

Your options are endless, and could include being a:

  • Private music instructor
  • School music teacher
  • Worship leader
  • Conductor and composer
  • Performer
  • Instrumentalist
  • Music librarian and publisher

Faculty Profiles

Paolo Bortolussi, DMA

Instructor in Music - Flute

Robert Caldwell, BMus

Instructor in Music - Percussion

Marea Chernoff, MMus

Instructor in Music - Oboe

Christy Derksen, M.Mus.

Part-time Instructor of Music
Music Affiliate - Voice

Gregory Farrugia, BMus

Instructor in Music - Trombone

Tony Gallo, PhD

Instructor in Music - Saxophone, Jazz Combo

Jef Gibbons

Instructor in Music

Caroline Harder, DMA

Instructor in Music - Voice

Wes Janzen, DMA

Professor Emeritus of Music

Suzanne Klukas, MA

Accompanist and Instructor in Music - Piano

Johnny Markin, MWS

Instructor in Worship Arts

Richard Mingus, MMus

Instructor in Music - Horn

Edward Norman, GRSM

Accompanist and Instructor in Music - Organ

Alison Nystrom, MMus

Instructor in Music - Voice

Tim Olsen

Instructor in Music - Guitar

David Rushton, Ed.D.

Professor Emeritus of Music

David Squires, Ph.D.

Dean, School of the Arts, Media + Culture; Professor of Music; Artistic Director, Verge Conference on the Arts (TWU)

Betty Suderman, DMA

Instructor in Music - Piano

Jon Thompson, DMA

Chair and Assistant Professor, SAMC Music

Allan Thorpe, DMA

Associate Professor of Music; Director of Instrumental Activities

Joel Tranquilla, DMA

Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music

Elizabeth Volpé Bligh

Instructor in Music - Harp

Heilwig von Koenigsloew, MMus

Instructor in Music - Violin, Viola

Jeff R. Warren, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Music and Interdisciplinary Arts