Allan Mahnke earned a BA at Concordia Senior College, an MDiv at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and a DMA in organ at the University of Minnesota where he was a pupil of Heinrich Fleischer. Additionally, he did extensive studies in classical languages at the U of M.

He was employed at Augsburg Fortress for 20 years as Director of Music and Worship Publishing. He then taught at Concordia University, St. Paul for the remainder of his career. Retiring from teaching in 2007, he continues to perform solo and 4-hand recitals both on piano and on organ with his wife, Dr. Kathryn Schenk. He is organist at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. They make their home in Minneapolis.