Class of 1959, is the Park University Alumni Association’s 2006
Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Larson is recognized for his accomplishments
as a musician, conductor and educator.
prestigious music career began in his hometown of Chicago where he
studied music as a child. After graduating from Park, he earned both his
master of music degree and his Ph.D. in conducting at Indiana
University, studying with such mentors as Herbert Mueller, Wolfgang
Vacano and Dr. Julius Herford.
taught at Park College from 1961-1967 and again from 1969-1973. Since
1973 he has been a member of the faculty at Webster University in
Webster Groves, Missouri,
where he serves as Music
Director/Conductor and teaches graduate and undergraduate
classes. He also is director of orchestral activities at Webster, and
served as chairman of the music department from 1983-1988.
Larson has held
conducting posts with the St. Joseph Symphony, the St. Joseph Youth
Symphony and Nova Choralis; the Park College Choirs, Madrigal Singers
and Park Singers; the Indiana University Choral Union and Chamber
Singers; the Northland Symphony Orchestra; the Metropolitan Orchestra at
Webster University and the St. Louis Chamber Chorus.
From 1976 to
1981 he was the pre-concert lecturer for the St. Louis Symphony’s Friday
and Sunday afternoon concerts and, also in 1976, was Chorus Master for
the premiere of the nationally known Opera Theater of St. Louis.
His many guest
conducting appearances include clinics and performances with area public
schools and colleges; the Kansas City, Kansas Civic Orchestra; the
Washington University Wind Ensemble; the Webster Chamber Winds; the
Webster University Opera Studio; the Webster University Music Theatre;
the St. Louis Youth Symphony; KFUO’s “Live from the Garden” radio
broadcasts; and the St. Louis Symphony’s Chamber Music St. Louis series.
In addition to
his professional activities, Dr. Larson serves as choir director at the
First Unitarian Church of St. Louis and works as a consultant, raising
money for music students through grants and awards. In his free time
the word “conductor” takes on a dual meaning. The music conductor is
also a railroad conductor, as he pursues one of his favorite pastimes,
learning of his dual conductor interests, Channel 9, the PBS station in
St. Louis, featured Larson on their “Living St. Louis” broadcast series.
wife Debra, a graphic designer, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has one
daughter, Beth, who resides in Montana.
Allen Larson was
named one of the “120 Outstanding Alumni” in 1996, in the publication
bearing that name. The Alumni Association is proud to add him to its
list of Distinguished Alumni.
reprinted from “120 Outstanding Alumni of Park College” by Carolyn
McHenry Elwess, ’71