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Director of Bands
Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Author:  On the Path to Excellence - The Northshore Concert Band:  Paynter, Buehlman, and Beyond


William S. Carson is a 1978 honors graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota where he completed an internship with the Minnesota Opera and conducted the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as a student in the ensemble's Young Conductors' Workshop. Carson continued his studies at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale where he earned a master of Music degree in 1981. After graduation, Carson directed the high school music program in Carbondale, Illinois, where his students won the coveted Illinois High School Music Association Music Sweepstakes Award in 1982.

Carson then served the public schools of West Lafayette, Indiana, as high school band director and music coordinator before moving to New Hampshire to become director of jazz studies at Plymouth State College of the University System of New Hampshire.

After four years in New Hampshire, Carson moved to Arizona to pursue his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Arizona State University. Carson spent two years as a graduate assistant for the ASU Bands and an intern with the orchestra before he was appointed Director of Bands at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

At Coe Carson conducts the concert band; teaches conducting, 20th century music history, clarinet and bass clarinet, and jazz history. From 2002 to 2007, he served as chair of the department of music. 

Carson completed his doctorate in 1992, which earned him the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Council for Research in Music Education. The dissertation was also selected as a runner-up for the Fritz Thelen Prize sponsored by the Internationale Gesellschaft zur Erforschung und Forderung des Blasmusik. Carson was recently honored by selection for inclusion in Marquis Who's Who in American Education. His book, On the Path to Excellence - The Northshore Concert Band:  Paynter, Buehlman, and Beyond, was published by Meredith Music in 2003, and is distributed by Hal Leonard Music. Click HERE for more information.In December 2003, Carson moderated a panel at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic "The Successful Community Band:  Strategies On and Off the Podium," with many of the main figures in the history of this important ensemble.

Dr. Carson's research into the music of Percy Grainger has led to the creation of a new performing edition of Grainger's original band version of "Spoon River." This new edition is being prepared for publication by Southern Music.

Dr. Carson has extensive experience as a guest conductor, including performances with the Marine Band of Camp LeJeune, the United States Air Force Heartland of America Band, and the United States Army Field Band. Carson also represented the North Central division of the College Band Directors National Association at the CBDNA regional convention in Kansas City in February, 1998, conducting an honor band of students from the small colleges of the middle third of the country.  Dr. Carson has also had numerous international performances with the band of the Iowa Ambassadors of Music, a group with which he has traveled to Europe as a conductor and clarinetist every other summer since 2000. Carson has recently been named Associate Music Director and Associate Band Conductor of the Iowa Ambassadors. Over the years, Carson's travels as a conductor, clinician, and performer have taken him to thirty-four states and twenty foreign countries.

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