Visual and Performing Arts

Dr. Colin McAllister

Colin McAllister, D.M.A.

Music Program Director

Guitar / Music History / Music Business

UHAL 229

Work : (719) 255-5134

Colin McAllister 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) and "ravishing" (San Diego Union Tribune), and he has recorded on the Innova, Centaur, Naxos, Albany, Old King Cole, Vienna Modern Masters, Carrier and Tzadik labels. He is the editor of the Cambridge Companion to Apocalyptic Literature (forthcoming 2019) and has two publications 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 guitar instructional course, Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales and Solos was produced by The Great Courses and released to critical acclaim in April 2017. Colin is 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 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. 

His research interests include third and fourth century apocalyptic literature, the early medieval commentary tradition on the Revelation of John, and apocalyptic paradigms in music. Current book projects include producing the first English translation of the 8th century Cambridge Glossa in Apocalypsin (edited by Msgr. Roger Gryson in the Brepols series Corpus Christianorum) and, in collaboration with Lorenzo DiTommaso of Concordia University, co-editing a collection of essays entitled Dies Irae, Dies Illa: Music in the Apocalyptic Mode. 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 currently serves as Director of the Music Program at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.


  • D.M.A. in Contemporary Music Performance, University of California, San Diego
  • M.A. in Contemporary Music Performance, University of California, San Diego
  • 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 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

  • The Cambridge Companion to Apocalyptic Literature (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2019)
  • Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales, and Solos (The Great Courses, 2017)
  • The Cambridge Commentary on the Apocalypse of John and the lost Hiberno-Latin gloss forthcoming, with Francis X. Gumerlock
  • Peter Scott Lewis - The Four Cycles (Naxos - American Classics, forthcoming 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
  • North American Patristics Society