WVSU | West Virginia State University
303 Davis Fine Arts

Dr. Dirk Johnson is Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at West Virginia State University. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, a Master’s degree in Music Education from Brigham Young University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Choral Music Education, magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University. His conducting mentors include Earl Rivers, Dale Warland, Richard Sparks, Ronald Staheli, and Mark Gibson. He has experience working with a wide variety of choral ensembles, including college, community, high school, and junior high school choirs.

At WVSU Dr. Johnson conducts the Concert Choir, a large mixed chorus, and the State Singers, a vocal jazz ensemble. He also teaches applied voice, conducting, music methods, and music theory. Prior to teaching at WVSU, Dr. Johnson conducted the University Singers and Chamber Singers at the University of Virginia as a visiting professor. Before his doctoral studies he co-conducted Gallus Veges, a community chorus of highly experienced adult musicians. While serving as Director of Choirs at Timpanogos High School in Orem, Utah, Dr. Johnson managed a thriving choral program of 200 students and five choirs. During his tenure, the choirs engaged in performance tours to California and Oregon and were consistently awarded superior rankings at regional and state festivals. Before teaching at Timpanogos High School, Dr. Johnson taught choir and general music at Pleasant Grove Junior High School in Pleasant Grove, Utah. He loves working with choirs of all age levels and is strongly committed to music education in the public schools.

Dr. Johnson is an active choral singer and soloist. He sang for two seasons with the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, the region’s premiere professional chorus, and performed with Cincinnati’s acclaimed May Festival Chorus. He most recently performed as tenor soloist in the West Virginia Symphony Chorus performances of Handel’s Messiah and Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb.

With a doctoral cognate in composition, Dr. Johnson is an active composer and arranger. His most recent commissions have come from the Charleston Civic Chorus, Edgewood College Chamber Singers, the College of Idaho Chamber Singers, and WomanSong of Charleston, WV. He also regularly writes and arranges pieces for his choirs at WVSU. In June of 2010 he participated in the American Choral Directors Association Summer Composer’s Forum at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. In the summer of 2012 Dr. Johnson completed three choral arrangements of Appalachian folksongs as part of a WVSU Faculty Development Grant. Dr. Johnson is also an experienced music theory instructor. At CCM he was awarded an assistantship to teach music theory courses, and he taught AP music theory at Timpanogos High School.

©2014 West Virginia State University  |  P.O. Box 1000 Institute, WV 25112-1000  |  (800) 987-2112 | Mobile Site | Webmaster