Ian R. Charter, MMus, BEd, BRE

Ian Charter Ambrose Arts Music
Associate Professor of Music
+1 (403) 410-2000 ext. 4900
Office Location:


MMus (University of Oregon School of Music)
BEd (University of Calgary)
BRE (Prairie Bible College)


Ian Charter began his teaching career on the Faculty of Music at Prairie Bible College in Three Hills, Alberta, where he served from 1982-1990. In 1991 he relocated to Canadian Bible College in Regina, Saskatchewan, where he served for twelve years on the Faculty of Music at Canadian Bible College. As Canadian Bible College joined with Canadian Nazarene College, Ian became a member of the faculty at Ambrose University in Calgary, where he now serves as Associate Professor of Music, teaching conducting, music theory, and composition in the Bachelor of Arts (Music) and Bachelor of Music programs.

Ian directs the 40-voice Ambrose College Singers and has a particular interest in composition and arranging. His collaborative performances of Handel's Messiah with the Regina Symphony Orchestra as well as his appointment as Artistic Director of the Regina Philharmonic Choir (2002-2003 season) were highlights of his achievements while Canadian Bible College was situated in Regina. Over the years, Ian’s college choral ensembles have toured extensively throughout Canada.

From 2003 to 2010 Ian served as choir director at First Baptist Church, Calgary. He is active as soloist and church music clinician in the Calgary area. Ian and his wife Colleen are the parents of two children, Emily and Richard.

Recent Publications

Current Research

  • FINALE music notation
  • Choral composition and arranging
  • 20th Century music history
  • Pedagogy for teaching aural music skills

Scholarly & Professional Activity

First prize winner of the 2007 Hymn Composition Competition sponsored by Lakeland Presbyterian Church of Lakeland, Florida.  Winning hymn--Christ of the Upward Way (I. Charter), was subsequently performed in Florida and Alberta.

May 19, 2009 Concert Review—A Stunning Performance in the Toronto Globe and Mail of the  North American Premiere of the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Pianist Roberto Prosseda, Singer Hall, Calgary

Article:  Learning Through Shared Christian Praxis:  Reflective Practice in the Classroom [multiple authorship:  Arch Wong,  Bill McAlpine, Tim Moore, Emma Emgard, Fern Buszowski, and Ian Charter] was published in the October 2009 issue of The Journal of Theology and Learning.

Choral Compositions Performed (Unpublished):   As Lately We Watched was performed at the annual Christmas concert of the Schumann Singers of Grand Junction, Colorado, November 2003; Hark the Glad Sound (Choir and Orchestra) premiered at First Baptist Church, Calgary, December 2006;  Morning Has Broken (Arr. of Trad. Gaelic tune) for Choir and String Orchestra premiered at Ambrose University College Spring Concert, April 2009.

Professional Affiliations

Alberta Choral Federation (ACF)

American Choral Directors Association (ACDA)


Member of the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus, January – June 2012 for two performances of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in March 2012, accompanied by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and a June 2012 recital with Finland’s a cappella group, Rajaton. Ian will continue to sing with the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus throughout the 2012-2013 season.

Recent Conference Presentations

Charter, Ian. “Creative Compositional Processes in a Contemporary Context.” Choral Symposium, Music Conference Alberta. Capri Centre, Red Deer, AB. 4 November 2011. Conference Presentation.

This paper, given during the Alberta Choral Federation’s symposium at the Alberta Music Conference, compared the so-called traditional processes of music composition to the ever-present influence of the social media for today’s composition students.