Alumni Profiles     

Dr. Allen Larson, ’59
    Distinguished Alumnus
, 2006

Allen Larson, 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. 

Allen Larson’s 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.

Dr. Larson 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, model trains. After learning of his dual conductor interests, Channel 9, the PBS station in St. Louis, featured Larson on their “Living St. Louis” broadcast series. 

Larson, with 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.  

Portions reprinted from “120 Outstanding Alumni of Park College” by Carolyn McHenry Elwess, ’71





Dr. Allen Carl Larson, '59

1959 NARVA Photo