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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.

His most recent composition, "Elegy for Trains," is a work for women’s choir, brass ensemble, and piano, using the poetry of OBU colleague Benjamin Myers. The poem is the title poem from his 2010 publication "Elegy for Trains" published by Village Books Press and recipient of the 2011 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry. This work will be premiered on April 29, 2014 on the OBU campus.

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