Conductor & Composer
From the listeners...
Words can barely express how moved I was during your performance. The harmonies were exquisite; the pitches were flawless, and the dynamics were so well-executed that it brought me to tears. But beyond all the mechanics there was something deeper, which left me with the feeling that I had experienced something extremely personal."
"Brandon Johnson will be sought after for his abilities. He understands how to make music work to create real musical understanding."
"Words cannot adequately express how much we enjoyed the concert... My 86 year old mother (a graduate of Julliard) was in attendance. She was speechless with joy only a musician can experience. Those with the good fortune of attending Carnegie Hall that afternoon experienced music at its best and most powerful... Thank you."
"After the concert, a couple of my students were in tears because they were just overwhelmed by the whole experience (good tears). And yesterday, my students were saying 'We want to go back..."
Dr. Brandon Johnson is the Director of Choral Activities at Eastern Michigan University and is one of the nation's most flexible choral artists. He has conducted choral ensembles in every facet of the profession and takes pride in pursuing excellence in the choral art to enrich and affirm musicians of all ages. Professional appointments have included: The Director of Choral Activities appointments at Eastern Michigan University and Houghton College in New York, Founder and Artistic Director of the semi-professional vocal ensemble of Vox Lumine, Artistic Director of the Detroit Performing Artists, the Conductor of the Symphonic Choir at the University of Arizona, the Director of Choirs at Duluth East High School and Springfield Public Schools, and multiple sacred music appointments.
Choirs under his direction have been invited to perform for multiple state and regional American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and National Association for Music Education (NAFME) conferences. He has performed in the most prestigious concert halls across the country, including Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the renowned Carnegie Hall. International performance tours and guest appearances have taken him to Austria, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, and Wales.
He has led honor choirs and held master classes in Europe and throughout the U.S., including Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Iowa, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. At home in Michigan, he has collaborated with thousands of high school singers across the state during dozens of choral events, including Michigan's first Sing for Justice concert held in 2017, choral festivals with renowned composers, and hundreds of concerts supporting local music educators.
Dr. Johnson's choral-orchestral training includes study with German conductor Helmuth Rilling and American conductors Neil Varon and Dr. Bruce Chamberlain. In addition to his work with university orchestras at EMU and Houghton, he has received invitations to conduct the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus, Buffalo Choral Artists, Continuo Arts Orchestra of New York, Michigan Sinfonietta, Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, and Orchestra, Rochester Oratorio Society, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony, Cordancia, and The Southern Tier Symphony on collaborative projects.
Respected by his faculty colleagues, he has been awarded multiple teaching and artistic awards. At Eastern Michigan University, he was selected to receive the Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Creative Activity Award, the highest honor the University presents to an individual faculty member. At Houghton College, he accepted both the Excellence in Teaching Award and was the inaugural recipient of the first fully endowed chair at Houghton College, the Horne-Blanchard.
Scholarly and creative interests include choral composition, twenty-first-century choral program development, and the use of virtual reality technology as a tool for training