Shawn E. Okpebholo, D.M.A.

Associate Professor of Music (Composition, Music Theory)
On Faculty since 2010

Office: McAlister Hall 131
Phone: (630)752-5832


D.M.A., music composition, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, 2007

M.M., music composition, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, 2005

B.A., music composition and music history, Asbury College, 2003

About Shawn E. Okpebholo

Shawn E. Okpebholo is a widely sought-after and award-winning composer, whose music can be characterized as diverse, dynamic, and genuine – comfortably composing in various styles and genres. His music has been performed all over the world, in five continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South Americas), in over thirty states, and in nearly every major U.S. city. Distinguished venues and festivals include: The Kennedy Center and the National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.); Orchestra Hall (Chicago); Monte Music Festival (Goa, India); CBDNA National Conference (Seattle, WA); MusicX Contemporary Music Festival (Cincinnati); PRIZM Concert Series (Memphis); and the state music festivals of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Texas. Dr. Okpebholo has received numerous commissions from noted soloists, universities and organizations, including the International Tuba and Euphonium Association, the United States Air Force, the Ohio Music Education Association. Some noted performing artists and ensembles include: The Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Picosa Ensemble, United States Army Field Band, euphonium virtuoso Steven Mead, baritone Will Liverman, pianist Paul Tuntland Sánchez, mezzo-soprano J’nai Bridges, flutist Caen Thomason-Redus and violists Dorthy White Okpebholo. His compositions can be heard on a variety of commercially released CDs. His first album solely devoted to his music, Steal Away, is a collection of Negro spirituals that he re-imagined.

As an academic, Dr. Okpebholo has guest lectured and given master classes at many colleges and universities across the country, as well as two universities in Nigeria. His work has been supported by many grants, including a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, Wheaton College Aldeen Research Grant, and Union University Pew Research Grant. His artistry has been recognized by various awards, including first prize in the Accent06 International Composition Competition and an annual recipient of the ASCAPlus awards since 2004. He was also one of eighteen featured composers in Volume IV of the book series, "Composers on Composing for Band," edited by Mark Camphouse.

He earned his masters and doctoral degrees in composition from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where he also studied music theory. He completed a bachelor’s degree in composition and music history from Asbury College and had additional studies in film scoring at New York University. His primary teachers were James Curnow, Joel Hoffman, Ronald Holz, and Michael Fiday. Currently, he is Associate Professor of Music Composition and Theory at Wheaton College Conservatory of Music (IL), having previously taught at Union University (TN), Northern Kentucky University, and CCM. He lives in Wheaton, IL with his wife, violist Dorthy, and his daughters, Eva and Corinne. For more information visit Dr. Okpebholo's website >>


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