Dr. Jeffry Blake Johnson has performed professionally as a conductor, singer, actor, pianist, harpsichordist, organist, and music teacher for over 30 years.
His conducting credits feature numerous premieres as well as extensive work with contemporary and standard choral repertoire, including Mass of Hope by Joe Negri, Spirit Water and Song of Songs: Suite for Women’s Voices by David P. Goldstein, Requiem by W. A. Mozart, Requiem by Gabriel Fauré, Cantata No. 80: Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott by J. S. Bach, and Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven (prepared chorus for performances with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Grant Cooper, conductor, and the West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra, Mitchell Arnold, conductor).
From 2012 to 2019, Dr. Johnson served as Artistic Director with Pittsburgh’s Renaissance City Choir. RCC is the only LGBTQIA+ and Allies choir in the Pittsburgh region. The choir totaled approximately 80 voices and performed throughout the region and nationally. “Creating change through the power of music.”
In addition to his work with RCC, Dr. Johnson also proudly served on the voice faculty of Washington & Jefferson College, as Adjunct Professor. He worked with W&J from the Fall of 2012 to the Spring of 2019. He previously served on the piano faculty at W&J as well from 2012-2017.
As a Visiting Assistant Professor, Dr. Johnson formerly taught at West Virginia University as Interim Director of Choral Activities. He conducted several choirs and coordinated all the choral ensembles at WVU. In addition, he taught lessons and conducting/repertoire classes to undergraduate and graduate students.
Dr. Johnson has also taught at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, PA, and Boyce College in Louisville, KY. He has served as music director, pianist, organist, and service leader at numerous churches and synagogues, including East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, PA, and Central Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY.
As part of his work with churches, Dr. Johnson created innovative multi-cultural spiritual and artistic experiences, such as the WorldBeat Spirit Party, which featured spiritual expressions from various world religions, and Global Harmony, a 24-hour interfaith celebration for the new millenium. He also formed Central Arts, an annual series of speakers and art presentations built around themes of compassion and justice.
Johnson received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from West Virginia University in 2010, the Master of Music degree in vocal accompanying and harpsichord performance from Boston University in 1989, and the Bachelor of Science degree in piano and voice performance from William Jewell College in 1986. Also in 1986, he studied and performed as part of the Tanglewood Music Center as a vocal coach fellow. In 1982, he won the Liberty Symphony Young Artist Competition, Piano Division, which led to the solo performance with the symphony of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C Minor, K. 491.
Some of Dr. Johnson’s other performing credits include a portrayal of the title character in Peter Schaefer’s Amadeus, which, in addition to acting the role, featured his performances as conductor, pianist, harpsichordist, and tenor; operatic performances of Tonio (La Fille du Regiment), Belmonte (Die Entfuerhrung aus dem Serail), Count Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), and Frederic (The Pirates of Penzance); national musical theatre touring performances of Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) and Stainsworth (Beauty and the Beast); and extensive accompanying work on piano throughout the United States.
Dr. Johnson lives on top of a wooded hill in Wexford, Pennsylvania, with his husband David P. Goldstein.