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April 6, 2012

Contact: Greg Dart
Snow College
435-283-7154 (office)
435-340-0514 (cell)
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EPHRAIM - Carl Allen, Artistic Director of Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School and Snow College visiting professor, will be the 2012 Commencement speaker at Snow College.

Commencement exercises are set for May 5 at 10 a.m. in the Snow College Activity Center.

Born in 1961, this accomplished musician has dedicated his life to the foundation of Jazz music. As a Milwaukee native, Allen grew up on gospel, R&B, and funk, but later turned his undivided attention to jazz.

After studying with drum instructor Roy Sneider and band director Robert Siemele for many years, Allen went on to study at the University of Wisconsin until 1981, and transferred to William Paterson College in New Jersey where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in jazz studies and performance.

While at William Patterson, he pursued his life-long dream as he served as the drum chair in trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's band. He got the position in 1982 and remained with Hubbard for eight years and recorded several recordings with the trumpeter including Double Take and Life Flight.

During this time Allen also serving as the trumpeter's musical director and road manager. Although he spent a large amount of time with the trumpeter, Allen has also performed with many great Jazz artists.

Allen is also an accomplished businessman. He co-founded Big Apple Productions in 1988 with saxophonist Vincent Herring, produced several recordings for several Japanese labels, and created The Art of Elvin, a tribute band dedicated to his two drum influences.

“I cannot imagine a better commencement speaker," said Vance Larsen, Dean of the Fine Arts Division at Snow College. “He is a world-renowned musician. There are few people in the jazz world that rival his success.”

Since 2005, Snow College has been the only college or university of any size to have a formalized collaboration with the Juilliard School. Each summer since, Snow has been the host school for the Juilliard Jazz Rhythm Section Workshop.

“He is the main reason that our relationship with Juilliard is as strong as it is,” said Larsen of Allen. Allen is a member of the Snow College Horne School of Music Hall of Fame.

Larsen said despite Allen’s connection to Snow College, Allen’s commitment as a musician, an educator and a role model is what makes him so special.

“You’ll never meet a better musician, educator or person than Carl Allen,” said Larsen.

Tickets are not necessary to attend the commencement ceremony.


Founded in 1888, Snow College serves nearly 5,000 students on its Ephraim and Richfield Campuses. With a full offering of transfer and career and technical programs, Snow College is committed to meeting the needs of Central Utah and beyond.