Category Archives: Song

Downtown Rotary

Two wonderful Webster students and I appeared on Thursday at the weekly Downtown Rotary Club luncheon at the Missouri Athletic Club.   We were the post-Valentine’s Day entertainment in a lighter program.  I’m grateful to my colleague Beth Russell for inviting us!

Some Strauss, Puccini, Novello, Lerner & Loewe, and Kerrigan and Lowdermilk filled the room.

Thanks to club photographer Doug Russell for permission to post some of photos from the day:

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My soundtrack

I’ve had an eclectic soundtrack running through my brain over the last 36 hours as I’ve been demonically possessed by a stomach bug.

Much of time has been spent prone, with eyes closed, drifting in and out of sleep.

And I’ve become increasingly aware of the low-level, deep-brain soundtrack of songs that have been on auto-play in my subconscious.

Chief among them is “I’m Home” from Captains Courageous. I keep hearing Spencer sing it, but I’ve also been working with Declan on this song. I don’t know why it’s on auto-repeat in my brain, but I’m not unhappy that this is so.

Other songs on the playlist are almost all from things I’m currently teaching in my studio.

Years ago, when I was in college, I realized that I knew the lyrics to a lot of pop songs — I did not listen to pop music very much — simply because of the time I spent hearing this music in the dorm office and at Pizza Hut.

NEVER underestimate how things can sink into your brain, and how much we pick up –text, visuals, sounds, ideas, attitudes — simply by exposure!

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.

A teaser

My new little ditty about Auggie will premier on Sunday next (January 28) at 4 p.m. on a faculty composer concert at Webster University.

I’ll reprise the song on my own cabaret concert on Tuesday, February 27 at 7 p.m. at Webster University.

I’m hoping many will be in the audience for one or both of these concerts!

’tis the season

Audition season is here.

From my private voice studio:

  • my one student who auditioned for All-State Choir made it in, for the second year in a row.
  • the same student has also been selected for the SWACDA divisional honor choir.
  • one of my students was the only freshman called back for singing at SLUH.
  • two of my students are cast in name roles in A Christmas Story at CBC.
  • one of my freshman boys is cast as Chip in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
  • one senior is up for Pirates of Penzance very soon.
  • a young student is out on national tour of The King and I.
  • another freshman boy has just closed Suessical.

And all four of my seniors are prepping for college auditions.

I’m a happy teacher.

King’s Singers

My colleague Trent Patterson found a King’s Singers 10th anniversary concert album at a record shop recently, and bought it for me.

I listened to it on Sunday, on my turntable that I so seldom use, but which is now posted in the living room and plugged into the stereo system.


My doctoral professor Simon Carrington is at lower right in the photo on the album cover!