Faculty & Staff

LJ White

Department Chair: Composition & Theory


Northwestern University
Currently working on Doctor of Music degree

New England Conservatory
Master of Music

Boston University
Bachelor of Music

Tenure at Merit:

6 years, 1 month




LJ White’s musical compositions have been described in the media as “delightful and inventive,” “a tour-de-force of quartet writing,” and “a vital primer to a bumper crop of talented young Chicago composers.” Mr. White brings his energy and talents to Merit’s classrooms where he views students as “fellow members of a community of musicians and music enthusiasts.”

In addition to teaching Merit students, Mr. White lectures at Northwestern University—teaching composition, music theory and aural skills—while pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts (June 2016). He holds a Master of Music in composition from the New England Conservatory of Music and Bachelor of Music in composition and trombone performance from Boston University.

Mr. White’s work is well-recognized within the music community. His awards include the Margaret Blackburn Biennial Composition Competition, an Emil and Ruth Beyer Award and the American Prize, among others. His compositions have been featured at numerous venues, including Walt Disney Hall’s REDCAT Theatre, Bowdoin International Music Festival and Bang on a Can Summer Festival. He has enjoyed residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Hambidge Center.

Originally from Massachusetts, Mr. White’s enjoys the family-like atmosphere of Merit where he says his main goal for his students is “to help them gain the skills necessary to express themselves in music to their highest potential.” His non-musical interests include reading, yoga, the Boston Red Sox, and exploring Chicago.

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I have the utmost respect for my students and for their contributions to the richness of our field. I am proud to be able to share the music world with them.”