Colin McAllister, D.M.A.

Dr. Colin McAllister

Colin McAllister, D.M.A.

Assistant Professor/Music Program Co-Director
Guitar Performance/Music History/Humanities


Colin McAllister is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He engages deeply with cross-disciplinary ideas in the humanities, particularly the intersection between music and history, classics and theology. His performances as a guitarist have been hailed as “sparkling….delivered superbly” (San Francisco Chronicle), “ravishing” (San Diego Union Tribune) and “an amazing tour de force” (San Diego Story), and he has recorded on the Innova, Centaur, Naxos, Albany, Old King Cole, Vienna Modern Masters, Carrier and Tzadik labels. His research interests include contemporary music performance and pedagogy, third and fourth century apocalyptic literature, the early medieval commentary tradition on the Revelation of John, and apocalyptic paradigms in music.
His publications include the Cambridge Companion to Apocalyptic Literature, the first modern-language translation of the Cambridge Glossa in Apocalypsin (Brepols, Corpus Christianorum in Translation) and Dies irae, dies illa: Music in the Apocalyptic Mode (Brill, forthcoming 2021). He has two works with Productions d’OZ: The Vanguard Guitar and Fourteenth Century Counterpoint: Music of the Chantilly Codex. The Vanguard Guitar was praised by Soundboard magazine as “a great success…not only a primer of modern techniques, but also a library of current performance practices.” His two guitar instructional courses: Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales and Solos and Playing Guitar Like a Pro: Lead, Solo and Group Performance are produced by The Great Courses. Colin is endorsed by PRS Guitars, and is also an Artist Partner with Taylor Guitars.
A dedicated performer of contemporary repertoire, Colin has given over 100 first performances, including the U.S. premiere of works by leading European composers Chaya Czernowin, Franco Donatoni, Brian Ferneyhough, Beat Furrer, Vinko Globokar, Helmut Lachenmann and Rolf Riehm. He has performed throughout North America and Europe including the Monday Evening Concerts, New Music Miami, San Francisco sfSound, Darmstadt International Music Festival, Festival Hispanoamericano de Guitarra, Dallas Festival of Modern Music, Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enríquez in Mexico City, PRISMS New Music, Seattle Transport Jazz, Breda Jazz Festival, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, and the Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras (CMMAS). As a guest artist, he has appeared with the San Diego Opera, San Diego Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs and the La Jolla Symphony. He is the guitarist and conductor for the ensemble NOISE, and a co-founder of the SoundON Festival of Modern Music, held every January in La Jolla, California. He is a member of the jazz ensemble, the Hennessy 6, and performs frequently with tenor and guitarist Derek Keller as the McAlllister-Keller Duo. Each spring, he hosts Through a Glass Darkly: UCCS Symposium on Apocalyptic at the Heller Center for Arts & Humanities.
Colin earned both the Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of California, San Diego, where he studied guitar with Los Romeros and Stuart Fox, interpretation with Bertram Turetzky, and conducting with Harvey Sollberger and Rand Steiger. He also holds a Masters of Arts in History from UCCS.


  • D.M.A. in Contemporary Music Performance, University of California, San Diego
  • M.A. in Contemporary Music Performance, University of California, San Diego
  • M.A. in History, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
  • B.S. University of Colorado, Denver

Courses Taught

Lower Division

  • GPS 1010 -  Gateway Program Seminar
  • MUS 1624/2624 -  Applied Music: Private Instruction (Classical/Jazz Guitar)
  • MUS 2050 -  Jazz History
  • MUS 2850 -  Topics in Music History and Research I

Upper Division

  • MUS 3150 -  Introduction to Ethnomusicology
  • MUS 3624/4624 - Applied Music: Private Instruction (Classical/Jazz Guitar)
  • MUS 3850 -  Topics in Music History and Research II
  • MUS 4750 -  Contemporary Music: Cultures, Designs and Aesthetics
  • MUS 4960 -  The Business of Music: Entrepreneurship & Creative Enterprise
  • MUS 9400 -  Independent Research Study
  • HUM 3990 -  Transition and Rebirth: The Idea of Renaissance in Europe
  • HUM 3990 -  Visions of Darkness: Apocalypse and Dystopia in Literature, Art & Film

Selected Publications

  • Dies irae, dies illa: Music in the Apocalyptic Mode (with Lorenzo DiTommaso, Brill Word and Music series, forthcoming 2021)
  • The Cambridge Gloss on The Apocalypse (Corpus Christianorum in Translation, Brepols Press, forthcoming 2020)
  • Cambridge Companion to Apocalyptic Literature (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2020)
  • Playing Guitar Like a Pro: Lead, Solo and Group Performance (The Great Courses, 2018)
  • Full Circle – NOISE plays the music of Stuart Saunders Smith (Centaur Records, 2017)
  • Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales, and Solos (The Great Courses, 2017)
  • Peter Scott Lewis - The Four Cycles (Naxos - American Classics, 2016)
  • NOISE plays Burtner (Innova Records, 2013) 
  • Peter Ivan Edwards - Object Lessons (Albany Records, 2010)
  • David Loeb - A Forest of Verses (Vienna Modern Masters, 2009)
  • San Diego Composer's Collective - New Music from San Diego (Carrier Records, 2009)
  • Christopher Adler - Ecstatic Volutions in a Neon Haze (Innova Records, 2007)
  • Derek Keller - Impositions and Consequences (Tzadik Records Composer Series, 2007) 
  • Fourteenth century Counterpoint: Music of the Chantilly Codex (Québec: Les Productions d'Oz, 2005)
  • The Vanguard Guitar: Etudes and Exercises for the Study of Contemporary Music (Québec: Les Productions d'Oz. 2004)
  • Solos and Duos for Guitar (Old King Cole Records, 2004)


  • American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
  • Guitar Foundation of America
  • Society of Biblical Literature