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William V. Johnson

Professor Emeritus

Professor Emeritus William V. Johnson, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, served as the university’s director of bands and coordinator of instrumental music for 44 years, from 1966–2010.
Johnson is president of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles and will head up conferences in Prague in 2016 and Utrecht, the Netherlands, in 2017. He also serves as a consultant for World Projects International Music Productions.

As an arranger and transcriber of music for wind band, Johnson’s works have been performed by wind bands from many countries. His arrangement for clarinet choir will be premiered in April 2016, and his first original composition for large wind orchestra will be premiered in June 2016.

As a guest conductor, lecturer and clinician, Johnson has conducted wind ensembles and orchestras in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, and the U.S.

Johnson was elected into the American Bandmasters Association (ABA) in 1984 and served as host for both the 73rd and 82nd ABA conventions held in San Luis Obispo in 2007 and 2016. In March 2014, he was elected to the ABA board of directors. He is also a member of the College Band Directors National Association and is past president of the Western Division. He is a life member of Kappa Kappa Psi national band fraternity and was a sponsor of
Cal Poly‘s Iota Pi Chapter. He served as Kappa Kappa Psi‘s national vice president for professional relations. He is a member of the San Luis Obispo Rotary Club and serves on the board of directors of Opera San Luis Obispo.

In 1962, he earned his bachelor’s degree in music from the Indiana University School of Music. While at IU, he studied euphonium with William Bell, former tuba virtuoso of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sousa Band from 1902-71. After serving as director of bands at Seeger Memorial High School in West Lebanon for three years, he joined the band staff at the U of M. He studied conducting with William D. Revelli (1902-1994) and Elizabeth A. H. Green (1906-1995) and earned his master’s degree in music. Johnson is a native of Crossville, Tenn.