JRC bio

Jeffrey Richard Carter is Professor in the Department of Music at Webster University in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he was Chair of the department for thirteen years until 2021. He was for four years music director and composer for Circus Harmony, Saint Louis’ only social circus organization. His true loves are (in no particular order) musical theatre, the Episcopal Church, dogs, gin, cooking, travel, and helping others unlock their singing voice.

Carter is a native Missourian, with family ties to the Kansas City area and a long history of being a student, teacher, and conductor in that area.


His career as an educator includes performance tours to China and the UK; leadership of all-state performance ensembles in Missouri and Alabama, and of all-district choirs in Alaska, Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois; award-winning music direction for various Saint Louis theatre companies; choral performances at state and regional conferences; and leadership of the Variety Children’s Chorus in Saint Louis, a chorus for students with special needs.

The Governor of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Central Region, Carter previously served the Kansas City chapter for several years as treasurer, and the Central Region in support roles at previous regional conferences. He presented an interest session at the Iowa City conference, and regularly adjudicates at NATS events, where his students have gained top marks at local, state, and regional events.

Carter has performed professionally with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Kansas City Chorale, The Bach Society of Saint Louis, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, and the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus. He has composed music for and performed internationally with the Choir of Mixed Voices at Grace & Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (Kansas City). Carter was a founding board member of the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, Inc.

From 2005–2010, Carter was the national chairman of the Youth and Student Activities Repertoire and Standards Committee for the American Choral Directors Association. He also served on the board of the Conductors Guild, Inc. Carter was Artistic Director for the 2010 Saint Louis International Choral Festival.

He is the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus for the University of Central Missouri Department of Music, and a 2014 inductee into the Lee’s Summit High School Hall of Fame. He is immediate past-President of the Missouri Association of Departments and Schools of Music. He currently serves the National Association of Schools of Music as a visiting evaluator.

Carter is especially proud that his students have held and continue to hold prominent positions in such various places as the male ensemble Chanticleer, on Broadway and in national tours, and on various college and university faculties.

At Webster University since 2008, he was previously Associate Professor and Associate Director of the School of Music at Ball State University. Prior to the year 2000, Carter’s previous academic engagements (teaching voice and choir) include Kentucky Wesleyan College, the University of Kansas, Graceland University in Iowa, the University of Central Missouri, the Metropolitan Community Colleges in Kansas City, and Music/Arts Institute, a community school for the arts in Independence, Missouri.

A recipient of the inaugural Opus Award from the Missouri Choral Directors Association for his composition “Phos Hilaron,” Carter remains an active composer, with recent commissions from choirs from Kansas City to New York City. His “Storypeople Songs” for voice and piano premiered in 2015.

Maisie the Westie

As a choral conductor, Carter was Artistic Director of the Gateway Men’s Chorus of Saint Louis for three seasons through 2011. He led the chorus in artistic renewal, audience and budget growth, and a stronger place in the community. Two CD recordings from Dr. Carter’s tenure – I want to fly and Love Changes Everything – are available in iTunes.

He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Kansas, and the Master of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Central Missouri, with additional graduate study in CCM technique at Shenandoah Conservatory.

Carter lives near Forest Park in Saint Louis, with his Westie companion, Maisie.

2 thoughts on “JRC bio

  1. Hey Jeff, I noticed your name as one of the Executive Producers of the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers and that your group will be performing in Lawrence over Memorial Day weekend. I will do my best to come see you guys. World class vocals are always a good thing to check out. Congrats to you in your music/academic career; it is no surprise you have met with success. I know I was in choir in college for as long as I was for one reason: Jeff Carter.

    I practice law in Lawrence as a solo practitioner doing some criminal defense and other general stuff to pay the bills, but I’m still making music. I used Ableton Live these last few months to make some tunes without having to work with anyone else; control is awesome! If you get a chance, see what you think at http://www.myspace.com/untappedband

    I still talk to Scott Goodman pretty regularly and have interacted with Chip Knighton since college for sure. The three of us always talk about how much fun we had in choir and how much we learned. With my band, I often give them the “if the music isn’t going somewhere dynamically, what’s the point of performing it?” speech. And I can still pick out chordal intervals, although my skills in that area have decreased as I no longer have you challenging me on a weekly basis. 🙂

    Glad to see you’re in St. Louis and making music with Simon. Must be great. Maybe I’ll get a chance to see you at St. John’s.

    Max Kautsch

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