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South Carolina School of the Arts

BM in Commercial Music

Specialize in any aspect of the field

Popular, Contemporary Christian, country, funk, jazz, rock, R&B, classical, and other musical styles are part of the rich field of commercial music. Here you will build strong foundations on commercial music repertoire, techniques, music theory, leading and performing in music ensembles, songwriting, improvisation and music technology. At Anderson University’s South Carolina School of the Arts, you can specialize in any aspect of the field: from performance and technical dimensions to composing, songwriting, arranging, music business and entrepreneurship.

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About the BM in Commercial Music

Our Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music will provide you as a student with:

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Whether it’s in music technology, music business, or performance, you can explore and evolve your interests

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We have a small, close-knit music faculty, so you’ll receive one-on-one attention from professors

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Access to Professionals

We host industry professionals to teach students masterclasses and share career information

Career Outlook

After graduating from AU, you’ll have key skillsets to obtain employment or further your studies in graduate programs. You will improve your performance on your instrument, and you’ll gain experience using music technology, including Pro-tools, Ableton, Finale, industry standard plug-ins and a wide range of microphones and hardware. You also will learn business and entrepreneurial skills to succeed as a musician—from marketing yourself to releasing songs and collecting royalties. As a commercial music major, you’ll also learn how to write songs, arrange music, and create orchestrations. Your Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music will prepare you for the industry or graduate studies in many fields listed below. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, recent median salaries* for positions you can expect with this degree include:

*Median salaries from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Four Dots  Performance: $39,810
Four Dots  Music Therapy: $48,220
Four Dots Production: $74,420
Four Dots  Arranging and Orchestration: $51,670
Four Dots  Audio Engineering: $54,740
Four Dots  Music Theory: $51,670
Four Dots  Composition: $51,670
Four Dots  Music Promotion/Publicity: $64,940
Four Dots  Music Management: $64,940

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Schedule an Audition

An audition is required for students interested in enrolling as a music major in the South Carolina School of the Arts. All questions can be directed to

The Johnny Mann Center for
Commercial Music

Graduates from the Commercial Music program at Anderson University work in the music industry in a variety of roles including stage performers, technical directors, songwriters, studio engineers, worship leaders, musical directors, music instructors, music therapists, and session musicians. The South Carolina School of the Arts’ Johnny Mann Center for Commercial Music is where students can prepare for such careers in AU’s Christ-centered, nurturing environment.

At the center, named for the late Johnny Mann, a Grammy Award-winning composer, arranger, and friend of AU, students earn a Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music. Our program also has a strong emphasis in technology. Students have hands on training in recording, engineering, mixing, and mastering in our state-of-the-art Music Media Studios. Anderson University is an AVID Learning Partner and students have the opportunity to receive an AVID ProTools user certification. We also offer courses in Ableton Live, MIDI, live sound reinforcement, and video editing.

We believe that intense, transformative mentorship inspires this generation of artists to develop their creative talents to their fullest potential. We also coach students to identify and value how their skills can be applied in the career they envision as well as in related fields. Our professors–from recording musicians to sought-after art directors–represent the highest level of artistic achievement, and they want to show students how they can get there too.

Johnny Mann

Late Grammy Award-winning composer, arranger, and friend of AU

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AUthenticity is the flagship ensemble of the Johnny Mann Center for Commercial Music at Anderson University. This ensemble is made up of a diverse group of music students and ranges in size from 8 to 12 performers. Their repertoire consists of a wide variety of styles and periods of American music. Songs are selected from contemporary pop, Christian, and soul music as well as classic rock, R&B, and student originals.

The ensemble meets twice a week. Current instrumentation includes piano, guitar, bass, drums, horns, as well as multiple lead vocalists. There is also a student technical director who works with a variety of electronic equipment from PA systems, Ableton, and in-ear monitoring systems. The ensemble has a student musical director who works closely with the faculty ensemble director and is involved in running rehearsals, arranging music, and show production.

The group released Redefining AUthenticity, an album of original music in the Spring of 2022, which can be found on all major streaming platforms.

For information about auditions or booking AUthenticity for an event, please contact Dr. Derick Cordoba