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The department of music at College of the Ozarks is dedicated to the highest level of excellence in the musical instruction and performance. Our students, faculty, and ensembles play a vital role in serving our campus and surrounding community. Numerous performance opportunities are available to a wide variety of experience levels and backgrounds. Let’s make music together!

Academic Programs

Graduates in music are prepared to follow their calling into areas such as music education, music and worship ministry, performance, and composition, or to continue their education at a Master's degree level. The music teacher education program at College of the Ozarks is accredited with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to offer certificationin instrumental and choral music education.

All music students earn either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree, and can choose from one of the five areas of emphasis listed below:

General Music

  • Prepares the student for graduate and/or professional work in music
  • Allows a number of elective choices to complement the degree
  • Requires a recital during the senior year

Choral or Instrumental Music Education

  • Requires a double major in music and K-12/Secondary education
  • Prepares the student for state teacher certification
  • Field experiences and student teaching in approved schools 


  • Prepares the student for a career in collaborative piano, private teaching, and/or graduate studies in piano performance
  • Features specialized courses including piano pedagogy, piano literature, and piano duo classes
  • Includes performance opportunities in a variety of venues
  • Requires a recital during the senior year

Vocal Performance

  • Prepares the student for a career in vocal performance, graduate studies in voice, and/or private teaching
  • Features specialized courses in voice including vocal pedagogy and foreign language diction
  • Requires collateral courses in theatre,including acting and stage movement
  • Requires a recital during the senior year


Music Ministry

  • Prepares the student for music and worship ministry in the local church
  • Features specialized courses in church music and music ministry
  • Requires a minor in Christian Ministry
  • Requires an internship in a local church and/or culminating project


  • Prepares the student for a career or graduate work in music composition
  • Features specialized instruction in advanced theory topics
  • Students will compose acoustic and electronic music using both traditional techniques and advanced computer technology
  • Requires a composition recital during the senior year


The music department also offers three music minors: general music, piano, and vocal performance.


Performance Opportunities

There are numerous performance opportunities both on and off campus. The music department is involved in several seasonal and patriotic events including Christmas Card, major cultural & patriotic convocations, baccalaureate & commencement services, off campus tours, and a host of student, faculty, ensemble, and guest artist concerts. Students also have ample opportunities to showcase their individual talents on student recitals held throughout each semester.



Student Travel

Students in the music department have traveled the world. Recent trips include performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City, traveling to Washington D.C., journeys to England, Germany, Russia, and other overseas destinations as well as numerous regional and national competitions, conferences, master classes, and festivals.

Music Faculty



Dr. Luke Carlson

Director of Theory, Composition
& Orchestral Activities

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Email: lcarlson@cofo.edu


Dr. Clara Christian

Director of Piano & Piano Area Coordinator

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Email: cchristian@cofo.edu

Dr. John Cornish

Director of Choral Activities

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Email: jcornish@cofo.edu