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Dr. Jim Vernon

Professor of Music


James Vernon, Professor of Music, teaches courses in music composition, music theory, and fine arts (music and art for the Common Core). In addition, he is the musical director of The Bisonettes, the Women’s Glee Club of OBU. He has composed works for instrumental, choral, and vocal idioms, as well as music for stage play productions. Vernon’s compositions have been performed throughout the United States and in parts of Western Europe.

Currently, Vernon is on sabbatical leave from classroom teaching for the 2015-2016 academic year. The major goal of the sabbatical leave is to compose a full-length opera on the life and education of Laura Bridgman, a 19th-century blind-deaf woman. The opera is projected to be premiered on the OBU campus in the spring semester of 2017. 

His most recent compositions are The Spirit of the Lord is On Me (2015) for women’s choir and percussion, A Belief in Beauty (2015) for unaccompanied women’s choir, Septet for Wind Instruments (2014) and Elegy for Trains, (2014) a work for women’s choir, brass ensemble, and piano, using the poetry of OBU colleague Benjamin Myers.

A native of Chesapeake, Virginia, he lives in Shawnee with his wife, Lisa, a public health nurse. They have one daughter, Meredith, who is a physical therapist, two cats who are useless, and about 30 ducks that visit their back yard twice a day. His hobbies include reading, sailing, bicycling, and keeping ducks out of his back yard.


  • B.A., Old Dominion University
  • M.M., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • D.M.A., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Courses Taught

  • Private and Class Music Composition
  • Written and Aural Music Theory Courses
  • Arts and Western Culture


  • College Music Society
  • Society of Composers
  • Broadcast Music, Inc.
  • NASM Accreditation Visitor

Selected Publications

Recent Compositions:

  • Elegy for Trains for Women’s Choir, Brass Ensemble, and Piano
  • A Thousand Tongues of Immortality for Soprano, Cello, and Piano
  • A Love Song for T.T.B.B. Men's Voices a capella (poetry by OBU professor Benjamin Myers)
  • Magnificat for S.S.A.A. Women's Voices with Piano and Percussion
  • The Glow From That Fire for Mixed Chorus, Alto Solo, Narrator, and Orchestra (premiere April 2013)
  • Three Sacred Songs for Soprano Voice and Piano
  • Rules and Regulations for Tenor Voice and Piano
  • Quints for Clarinet , Bass Clarinet, Piano, and Percussion