Director of Music and Organist
A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Jon Johnson is Director of Music and Organist at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church where he oversees all aspects of the music program, including five choirs and the St. Cecilia Music Series. Prior to assuming this position, Johnson served as the Director of Music and Organist at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Lexington, Kentucky (2015-2018), where he led the choirs on a pilgrimage to St. Albans Cathedral, England, as the choir-in-residence for a week in August 2018. He has held other positions as the Associate Organist and Choirmaster at Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville, Tennessee (2007-2015); Organist and Choirmaster at Christ Episcopal Church in historic New Bern, North Carolina, where he also was the Director of the Schola Cantorum for the Episcopal diocese of East Carolina (2005-2007); and Organ Scholar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, North Carolina (1996-2000).
Johnson holds the Master of Music in organ performance and literature, the Sacred Music Diploma, and Doctoral studies from the Eastman School of Music in the studio of David Higgs; the Master of Music in choral conducting in the studio of Daniel Bara, and the Bachelor of Music in organ performance in the studio of Janette Fishell from East Carolina University. As an undergraduate, Johnson was the Fletcher Scholar, East Carolina’s most prestigious music scholarship. During his time as a choral conducting student with Daniel Bara, Johnson was part of the ECU Chamber Singers first choral album, “Greater Love: The English Choral and Organ Tradition,” produced by Gothic/Loft Recordings, found on Spotify. Other major teachers include continuo and improvisation with William Porter and James Bobb; choral conducting with Rhonda Fleming, Steven Kennedy, and William Weinert; and piano with Michael Sitton, Shuko Watanabe, Byron Petty, and Henry Doskey. Additionally, Johnson has coached with world-renowned organists Dame Gillian Weir and Ludger Lohmann.
Johnson has won organ competitions including the 1997 American Guild of Organists Region IV competition and the 1998 national Music Teacher’s National Association competition in collegiate organ performance. He has also competed in major international organ competitions including the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance sponsored by the American Guild of Organists. As an undergraduate, Johnson was selected to study at the Oundle International Organ Festival, England, where he had the opportunity to study with world-class organists Jane Parker Smith and David Sanger. Johnson has performed organ concerts throughout the United States, England, and Sweden. His European debut as an organist took him to Canterbury and Southwark Cathedrals, England, and Göteborg, Sweden. As an active concert organist, he has performed in venues including St. Mark’s Episcopal, Berkeley CA; performances with the Lexington Philharmonic; The Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta; Christ Church Cathedral (Roman Catholic) Louisville, KY; Christ Church Cathedral, Lexington, KY; Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis; St. Thomas Fifth Avenue NYC; St. Malachy’s - The Actors’ Chapel, NYC; and St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. Johnson has performed at two national conventions for the American Guild of Organists as an organ recitalist in Denver, CO (1998), and the organist for the opening worship service in Nashville, Tennessee (2012). Additionally, he was the organist for St. Michael’s Cathedral, Boise, choir tour at Winchester Cathedral, England, in 2014. He is a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians, the Royal School of Church Music, and the American Guild of Organists. Johnson currently serves as the sub-dean for the San Antonio (Alamo) AGO Chapter, and has held former positions as the nominating chair, sub-dean, and dean of the Nashville AGO Chapter.