Dr. Alfred & D. Suzi Osher School of Music

Justin Murphy-Mancini

Artist Faculty Organ

Office Location

Corthell Hall - University Way



Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D. in Composition, University of California, San Diego
  • M.M in Historical Performance, Oberlin Conservatory of Music
  • B.M. in Composition and Organ Performance, Oberlin Conservatory of Music
  • B.A. in Philosophy, Oberlin College


Justin Murphy-Mancini is a keyboardist, composer, and liturgical musician living on the North Shore of Massachusetts. He specializes in the performance of music from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque at the organ and harpsichord, as well as the work of living composers. He maintains a continued interest in the work of late medieval Germany, the English virginalists, and the music of Charles Tournemire and his students. He has appeared in recital on the Old West Organ Series in Boston, MA, the Malmgren Concert Series at Syracuse University, and at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in San Diego, CA. He maintains an active personal recording schedule that aims to make previously unrecorded music especially by women, people of color, and unknown Renaissance composers available to listeners online. As a chamber musician, Justin has concertized around the United States, and has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival and the BRQ Vantaa Festival in Vantaa, Finland. He can be heard on CD releases from Acis Productions, Marginal Frequency, and Another Timbre, among others.

His compositional activity centers on extended collaboration with soloists and small chamber formations. Primarily, his work has explored the development of unique musical structures through the intersection of medieval poetic forms and emphasis on timbre as the meaning-generating dimension of the music. Justin has written works for members of TAK Ensemble and the Mivos Quartet, Ensemble SurPlus, and soprano Hillary Jean Young. His most recent large-scale project was a secular oratorio setting passages of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in the original Old English for three voices and chamber orchestra. He also writes regularly for amateur vocal ensembles and is a frequent arranger of folk music for community and church choirs.

A dedicated church musician since the age of 13, Justin currently serves the First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist, of Newburyport, MA as Director of Church Music, where he directs the Adult Choir and oversees church-wide music making by both adults and young people. He is also the director of the Candlelight Chorale, a community ensemble that has presented the annual Candlelight Service since 1925 and also performs concerts throughout the year. At the First Religious Society, Justin presides over the last surviving organ by Newburyport organbuilder Joseph Alley, originally built in 1834. He has also served Episcopal, Methodist, UCC, and UU congregations around the United States as organist, chorister, and conductor.

Justin began studying piano at an early age before quickly developing parallel interests in the double bass and the organ. These early experiences led to an interest in composition, which was nurtured by his early mentor Nicolas Scherzinger. Justin is a graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, where he earned degrees in historical performance, organ, composition, and philosophy. His principal teachers included Jack Mitchener, Webb Wiggins, Marie-Louise Langlais, Steven Plank, and Catharina Meints. He earned a Ph.D. in composition at the University of California, San Diego, where he was mentored by Katharina Rosenberger, Rand Steiger, and Natacha Diels.