William Stuart Carson began the study of instrumental music in the public schools of Big Rapids, Michigan and continued his musical education at the Ferris State College Summer Music Camp, the National Music Camp at Interlochen, and the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. In 1975 he entered Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota as a National Merit Scholar.
While at Macalester, Carson completed an internship with the Minnesota Opera. He also conducted the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as a student in the ensemble’s Young Conductors’ Workshop. Carson was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in music, with honor, in 1978. In 1979 he became a graduate assistant for the bands, orchestra and musical theatre at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale where he earned a Master of Music degree in 1981.
After graduation, Carson was hired to direct the high school music program in Carbondale, Illinois where students under his direction won the coveted Illinois High School Music Association Music Sweepstakes Award in 1982. The following year Carson was hired as high school band director and music coordinator for the public schools of West Lafayette, Indiana. In 1984, Carson moved to Arizona to pursue his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Arizona State University where he was a graduate assistant for the band program and an intern with the orchestra. He completed his doctorate in 1992, and two years later was awarded 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.
In 1990, Carson was appointed Director of Bands at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Carson’s conducting duties at Coe College have included the concert band, wind ensemble, honor band and the top jazz band. He has taught conducting, clarinet, and music history. He is now serving as Chair of the Department of Music.