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Composer Carlos Simon Leads Spelman's Contemporary Popular Music Ensemble

March 2018

Spelman College Professor Carlos SimonCarlos Simon, Ph.D., composer/music technology lecturer and director of Spelman College's Contemporary Popular Music Ensemble, is a versatile composer and arranger who combines the influences of jazz, gospel, and neo-romanticism.

Serving as music director and keyboardist for GRAMMY Award-winner Jennifer Holliday, Simon has performed with the Boston Pops Symphony, Jackson Symphony, and the St. Louis Symphony. Dr. Simon has toured internationally with soul GRAMMY nominated-artist, Angie Stone, where he performed throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia.

In this American Composers Orchestra video, Dr. Simon talks about the magic behind his music.


Dr. Simon is a member of many music organizations including ASCAP, where he was honored as "Composers to Watch" in 2015. He is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Music Sinfonia Fraternity (honorary member), National Association of Negro Musicians, Society of Composers International, and Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society. His compositions have been published by the Gregorian Institute of America (GIA) Publications and Hal Leonard Publications.

His accolades include the Underwood Emerging Composer Commission from the American Composers Orchestra, the winner of the prestigious Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Award in 2015 and the Presser Award from the Theodore Presser Foundation. In the same year, he served as the young composer-in-residence with the Detroit Chamber String and Winds for the 2015-2016 season.

Dr. Simon earned his doctorate degree at the University of Michigan, where he has studied with Michael Daugherty and Evan Chambers. He earned degrees from Georgia State University and Morehouse College. In 2011, Simon returned to Morehouse College as a faculty member to teach music theory and various other courses.