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Allen Carter has a diverse background as a composer/arranger/drummer/percussionist/educator. Born and raised in Ellinwood, Kansas, he received his Bachelor of Music degree from Kansas State University. His Master of Music and Doctor of Arts degrees are from the University of Northern Colorado. Throughout his school years, he won numerous awards in the areas of performance and composition/arranging.


A member of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers, Dr. Carter’s work as a composer/arranger includes CBS Television’s Motown Records specials, the cable television series Humonos, the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Miss America pageant, commercials, and documentaries for the department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In addition, he has written extensively for instrumental and vocal jazz groups at all levels.

As a drummer/percussionist (he began “gigging” with local groups at age 11), Dr. Carter has performed with the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Joffrey Ballet, Les Brown’s Band of Renown, the Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, and Glenn Miller tribute (ghost) bands, Pat Longo’s Big Band, Steve Speigl’s Big Band and numerous other Los Angeles area big bands. He has worked with such vocalists as Nancy Wilson, Johnny Mathis, Marilyn Maye, Anita O’Day, Ray Charles, Melissa Manchester, Harry Connick Jr., Maureen McGovern, and Glen Campbell and has been involved in numerous recording sessions for records, films, and commercials. Appearances as featured artist have taken Dr. Carter across the United States as well as to concert stages and jazz clubs in several foreign countries.

Allen has recorded two critically acclaimed CDs as band leader; “Gifts” and “Time On My Hands” featuring some of the finest studio/jazz musicians in Los Angeles playing his compositions and arrangements. Both CDs are available through iTunes and

At the current time, Dr. Carter serves as Professor of Music at Minnesota State University Moorhead where he coordinates the music theory curriculum and where he created their new undergraduate degree in Commercial Music, blending traditional coursework in jazz/commercial theory, arranging, and improvisation with additional learning opportunities in live and studio audio, music business, and entrepreneurship. He has lectured internationally to educators and students on a wide range of jazz education, composition/arranging and percussion topics. Performing groups under his direction have been awarded recognition at the national level and he has directed numerous honor groups for music education associations in several states.

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