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William Johnson

Professor Emeritus

William Johnson

Davidson Music Center Room 214A | 805-756-2556 | wjohnson@calpoly.edu | Wind Bands Web page | Mustang Band Web page

William Johnson was Professor of Music at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California 1966-2010. He served as coordinator of instrumental music and conducted the university Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.

In great demand as a consultant, Professor Johnson has been a guest conductor, lecturer and clinician throughout the United States, Japan, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Israel, Korea and Singapore. For two years, 1993-1995, Johnson served as the President of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) and secretary of that association from 1987 to 1991. He was the Executive Director for the International Conference for Conductors, Composers and Publishers held in Manchester, England in 1981, an event that resulted in the formation of WASBE. He was the Conference Chairman for the 9th WASBE Conference held in San Luis Obispo, California, July 5-11, 1999. He is currently the Chairperson of the WASBE Foundation.

Johnson is also a member of the College Band Directors National Association and is past President of the Western Division. He was elected into the American Bandmasters Association in 1984 and, in 1987, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the John Philip Sousa Foundation. He is a life member of Kappa Kappa Psi national band fraternity and is the Sponsor of Cal Poly’s Iota Pi Chapter. He has recently served as Kappa Kappa Psi’s national Vice President for Professional Relations.

Johnson is a founding member and Musical Director of the San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra, an organization of 48 wind and percussion players that specializes in the performance of the finest in wind band literature. The San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra was formed in 1999 and consists of both professional and amateur musicians in the California Central Coast area of California. He has been a member of the San Luis Obispo Rotary Club since 1969.

Johnson is a native of Crossville, Tennessee USA. He received his Bachelor's Degree in music from the Indiana University School of Music where he studied the euphonium with the late William Bell, former tuba virtuoso of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He served as Director of Bands at Seeger Memorial High School in West Lebanon, Indiana for three years, 1962-65, before joining the band staff at The University of Michigan. While at Michigan, he studied conducting with the late Dr. William D. Revelli and the late Elizabeth Green while earning his Masters Degree in music.

He was selected as one of three Distinguished Teachers at Cal Poly for the 1975-76 school year.