Arlen Lester Card is an American composer, arranger, and producer. He was born on 11 April 1961 to Willard and Peggy Card in Redwood City, California. He is the youngest of six children. He grew up in Santa Clara, California, Mesa, Arizona, and Orem, Utah. His older brother, Orson Scott Card, is the author of the novels Ender’s Game and its sequels, Speaker for the Dead and Ender’s Shadow, which are widely read by adults and younger readers.
During his youth, Arlen was actively involved in basketball and playing the saxophone. He was constantly surrounded by the arts and the Card family home was always filled with music. His older siblings introduced him to rock, pop, country and western, and after his parents asked him to learn to play the saxophone, he grew to love jazz.
His father’s work at the local university permitted him to bring home a 16 millimeter projector and prints of old movies, and the family would have “home theater” nights. It was from those memorable experiences that Arlen became hooked on old MGM musicals like “The Court Jester” with Danny Kaye, and the Gene Kelly version of “The Three Musketeers.”
As he grew older, his family produced full-length plays and musicals with the support of a local Church congregation, casting youth, and a few adults, in the roles. He and his sisters would often render ad lib multi-part vocal harmonies on family-favorite songs. According to his bio on his official website:
Arlen was variously a child actor (on stage and in locally produced films), an artist, winning a city-wide art contest when in fifth grade (pencil and charcoal were the tools of choice), a short story contest when in eighth grade, and then turning to jazz saxophone and basketball with an equal vengeance until, at age nineteen, he served a full-time mission in Chile for his Church. Upon returning, he quickly moved away from his electrical engineering and computer science majors, and centered on “long hair” music composition studies.
Arlen is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and served a two-year full-time mission for the Church in Chile from 1980 to 1982. After serving his mission, he earned a Bachelor and Master Degree in Music Composition from Brigham Young University (BYU). And in 2002 he earned a Juris Doctorate Degree also from BYU.
He is an accomplished professional performer and studio musician on many instruments (although his first love is the saxophone) as well as vocals. He has played saxophone on many regional, national, and international television programs, movie trailers, and commercials.
He scored his first film in 1987, and through diligence and hard word, he got his first major film project (including a budget), “The Mountain of the Lord,” in 1992. The film was released to a specialized worldwide audience in 1993 and years following, and is still a favorite among viewers to this day. After the release of “The Mountain of the Lord,” Arlen was blessed with more major projects, many of which were used for media produced by The Church of Jesus Christ, and some for general entertainment markets. Included among all the film projects were numerous CD productions, stage musicals, concert works, and special-interest projects. To date, he has scored well over 100 films and videos, and has assisted in the production of dozens of CDs. One of his major projects is the film “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration.”
Arlen lives with his wife Jennifer and their six children in Orem, Utah. He teaches the law, business, and marketing of digital and audio media in the Digital Media department at Utah Valley University where he is an associate professor. He also practices law.
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