Category Archives: Getting older


My favorite photo . . . EVER . . . of me conducting a choir . . . .

This is from my final concert with the Jacomo Chorale in Blue Springs, Missouri, February 1999.


#TBT: freshman year

One of the hundreds of Olan Mills photos we are finding in my father’s belongings.  This would be from Fall 1975 or Spring 1976, my freshman year of high school.

#TBT: Class evaluation

1987 – 1999.  My parents were missionaries to Argentina.  I wrote regularly, first by long-hand, then by typing — sometimes using aerograms, sometimes using onion-skin paper — and later by sending faxes of typed letters, and finally moving to email.

From May 1990, here’s a letter recounting the end of my first semester of college teaching, and the comments from the Longview Community College professor who evaluated my teaching:


30 years

1990, at the beginning of my performing and conducting career.

This month marks 30 years of professional music-teaching and music-making.

Following a successful run as Uncle Max in The Sound of Music at Blue Springs City Theatre in December 1987, several people asked me for voice lessons.

I was working at the time for a McDonald’s franchise owner, in public relations.

The first one to ask about instruction was Janon Cairns, the costumer for the theatre.  Her 7th-grade son, Brad, was interested in theatre, and she wanted him to have lessons.

I said yes.

The first lesson occurred in January 1988.

I had no idea what I was doing.

But somehow, I was good at it, or at least people thought so, and more people wanted lessons.  Later that year, when it was time to leave the food-service world, I ‘hung out a shingle’ that effectively said “Jeffrey Carter, voice teacher,” and soon enough had sufficient private students to make a living.

Not long after, I bought the Kawai grand piano.

And not long after that, the local community college called, looking for someone new to lead the Jacomo Chorale and teach music appreciation.

The rest is history.

And it all started in earnest 30 years this month.

As I am yet again at the annual meeting of the Missouri Music Educators Association, I’m reminded of a blog entry from several years ago.  These sentiments are still true and honest.

Yesterday I visited with colleagues of many years, children of former teachers, professors who taught me nearly 30 years ago, former students, Webster alumni, and dear friends from today and yesterday.