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Biography

John Alan Carnahan is Director of Bands and Director of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach, where he has been a Professor of music since 1988. His teaching responsibilities include conductor of the University Wind Symphony and Professor of Graduate Conducting. Prior to his appointment at Long Beach, Mr. Carnahan served as Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Texas, Arlington where he taught music education courses and conducted the marching and symphonic bands. Before his years in Arlington, he was Director of Bands at Clovis High School in Clovis, California.

Representing the “new generation” of wind band conductors, Professor Carnahan brings a broad knowledge and extensive background in all idioms of instrumental music performance. His university ensembles have gained widespread notoriety for distinctive performance quality and imaginative musical interpretation and have been honored with invitations to perform throughout the Western United States, Europe and Japan. The Los Angeles Times has hailed the University Wind Symphony as, "…thoroughly disciplined and euphonious!" A champion of new music, Professor Carnahan has been a member of numerous national commissioning projects and the University Wind Symphony has premiered more than twenty new works over the past several years.

In addition to his university duties, Professor Carnahan is highly active nationally as a guest conductor, adjudicator, lecturer, and composer/arranger. He has conducted ensembles at the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) Biennial National Conference, the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Southwestern and Western/Northwestern Division Conferences, the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) State Conference, the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) State Conference, and internationally in Europe, Japan, and Korea. He is in demand as an honor band conductor and has conducted countless performances at the local, regional, and state levels. Most recently he held the position of visiting professor/conductor at Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea and conducted a highly acclaimed Wind Orchestra performance at the Seoul Arts Center Theater. Professor Carnahan is a sought after clinician and has presented numerous clinics and performance demonstrations for national and statewide music education organizations and conferences including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Il. His innovative and thought-provoking sessions on ensemble rehearsal techniques and the art of conducting are always well received. His commissioned pieces have received many performances and his arrangements have been heard throughout the United States and Japan. Professor Carnahan recently won the 2007 College Band Directors National Association Young Band Composition Contest with his work entitled, …and the antelope play, published by Manhattan Beach Publications. The composition is included in Teaching Music Through Performance in Band Volume 7, published by GIA Publications, Inc.

He holds membership in the California Music Educators Association, the College Band Directors National Association, and the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. He has also been honored with membership in Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Tau Beta Sigma. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a Master of Education Degree from the University of San Francisco.