Jeffrey Richard Carter, a native of the Kansas City, Missouri area, is Chair of the Department of Music at Webster University in Saint Louis, Missouri.
He is a versatile conductor and teacher whose performance experience and training ranges through nearly 1000 years of western musical tradition; he has gained success with university ensembles, amateur choral groups, show choirs, volunteer church choirs, and festival choruses alike. His performing and educational endeavors have taken him to the continents of Asia, South America, and Europe, in addition to the continental United States.
As a choral conductor, Carter led Ball State University Singers from 2000 until 2008. Ball State University Singers toured throughout the People’s Republic of China in May 2005, garnering rave reviews and standing-room-only audiences at several venues in Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Deyang, and Shanghai. He led the Missouri All-State Show Choir in July 2006, and the Alabama All-State Show Choir in January 2007, and the Alabama All-State Men’s Choir in March 2008.
He was Artistic Director of the Gateway Men’s Chorus, the gay men’s chorus of Saint Louis, for three seasons ending in July 2011. During that time the chorus experienced significant artistic renewal, audience growth, and community presence.
As of August 2014, Carter is Resident Music Director for New Line Theatre in Saint Louis.
Carter’s previous choral directorships include the Jacomo Chorale, a community chorus based in Blue Springs, Missouri. During his decade as Musical Director and Conductor, he led that group to unprecedented successes in audience growth and annual fund contributions. Carter rejuvenated the University of Kansas Men’s Glee Club, and brought renewed vigor to the flagship Chamber Choir at Ball State University. Carter has served as choirmaster and organist for several Episcopal churches as well, including parishes in Muncie, Indiana; Anderson, Indiana; and Blue Springs, Missouri, among other professional church appointments. He has led all-district festival choirs in Indiana, Missouri, Illinois and Alaska. Choirs under his direction have appeared in performance in California, Virginia, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Washington, D.C. His choirs have appeared on three different state and divisional choral conventions. He most recently sang as section leader in the choir of The Church of Saint Michael and Saint George (Episcopal) in Clayton, Missouri. In Fall 2013, he sang with the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus (including a performance at Carnegie Hall) and with the Bach Society of Saint Louis.
In 2005 Carter assumed the national chairmanship of the Youth and Student Activities Repertoire and Standards Committee for the American Choral Directors Association, a position he held until early 2010. In May 2006 he led sixteen Ball State students on a three-week East Asia Studies Program immersion experience to China. He also served at Shanghai Normal University in November 2005 as visiting professor. Carter was a founding member of the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers. He was on the international board of the Conductor’s Guild, Inc. for five years until 2012. In 2010 he served the wider profession as Artistic Director of the first-ever Interkultur event in North America, the American International Choral Festival.
Under Carter’s guidance, the Ball State University ACDA chapter was named the 2005 Collegiate Chapter of the Year by the national ACDA organization. Previous activities while at Ball State include adjudication and master class teaching at the 21 Century International Choral Festival in Malaysia (2003), service as overall program chair of the Central Division ACDA convention (2004), leadership of a week-long composer residency program at Ball State University featuring American composer Gwyneth Walker (2003), and leadership of a conductor residency featuring Simon Carrington at Ball State (2004). In April 2005, Carter was named Ball State University’s Outstanding Organization Advisor for the academic year, in recognition of his work with the student ACDA Chapter. Carter is President-Elect of the Missouri Association of Departments and Schools of Music.
Carter’s previous academic appointments 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. In addition to university teaching duties, Carter maintains an active schedule of clinics, adjudications, and workshops throughout the country, and teaches private voice lessons through his own studio. He regularly leads students in field-study experiences, recently to Italy, Germany, France, Greece, and the Czech Republic.
A recipient of the Opus Award from the Missouri Choral Directors Association for his composition Phos Hilaron, Dr. Carter remains an active composer. In addition to many other organizations, he is a member of the Vaughan Williams Society, the Herbert Howells Society, and the Edward Elgar Society. He is also a member of Pi Kappa Lambda and an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha.
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. UCMO named him Distinguished Music Alumnus in 2011. His professional debut in 1989 was as a singer with the Kansas City Lyric Opera; as a conductor; his debut in 1990 was with the Jacomo Chorale. His return to the stage in 2011 was recognized by the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch critic with a ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Musical’ award.
Carter participated in a month-long exchange program to Brazil in 2001. He is listed in the 2005 edition of Who’s Who in Education, the 2006 Who’s Who in America, the 2007 Who’s Who in the World, and the 2009 Who’s Who in America. Carter is especially proud that his students have gone on to prominent positions in such various places as the male ensemble Chanticleer, on Broadway and in national tours, and on various college and university faculties.
Carter’s recordings include Then and Now with Ball State University Singers (2005) and two discs with the Gateway Men’s Chorus: Love Changes Everything (2010) and I Want to Fly (2011), both available through the GMC store or in iTunes. A holiday recording with the Jacomo Chorale is out-of-print and no longer available.
Carter lives near Forest Park in Saint Louis with his feisty little dog Samson, a much-loved and overly-spoiled terrier.