Bob Cole Conservatory of Music | California State University, Long Beach | College of the Arts

Portrait of John Carnahan /John Carnahan

Director of Bands

Office: UMC-A515
Phone: 562.985.5248

John Alan Carnahan is Director of Bands at California State University, Long Beach, where he has been a professor of music since 1988. His teaching responsibilities include conductor of the 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.

To his position at California State University, Long Beach, he brings a broad knowledge and background in all idioms of instrumental music performance. His university ensembles have gained widespread notoriety for imaginative musical interpretation and distinctive performance quality 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, Mr. Carnahan is active nationally as a guest conductor, adjudicator, lecturer, and composer/arranger. He recently won the 2007 College Band Directors National Association Young Band Composition Contest with his work entitled And The Antelope Play. He has conducted ensembles at the California Music Educators Association Convention, the Texas Music Educators Association Conference, the College Band Directors National Association Southwestern and Western Division Conferences and internationally in Europe and Japan. He has presented numerous clinics and performance demonstrations for statewide and regional music education organizations and conferences. His innovative and thought-provoking sessions on ensemble rehearsal techniques and the art of conducting are always very well received. His commissioned pieces have received many performances and his arrangements have been heard throughout the United States.

Professor Carnahan 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.


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California State University, Long Beach
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