Dr. Jefferson Johnson is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Kentucky where he conducts the University Chorale and Men's Chorus. He also teaches advanced choral conducting, choral methods and literature, and directs the graduate program (MM and DMA degrees) in choral music. A native of Atlanta, Johnson received the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Georgia (magna cum laude, 1978), the Master of Music from the University of Tennessee (1981), and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado (1992). While living in Atlanta, Johnson was also a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus conducted by Robert Shaw.
University of Kentucky choirs under Johnson’s direction have performed at fourteen conventions of choral music educators, including national conventions of American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), Music Educators National Conference (MENC), and Intercollegiate Male Choruses (IMC). Most recently the UK Men’s Chorus was featured in performance at the 2011 ACDA National Convention in Chicago. The UK Chorale has toured extensively with recent performances in Paris (Cathedral of Notre Dame, Chartres Cathedral, American Cathedral, and Cathedral of La Madeleine), Washington, D.C. (The Kennedy Center), the Bahamas (private performance in the Presidential Palace), and New York City (Carnegie Hall). The UK Choirs have collaborated with numerous artists including The King Singers, violinist Mark O’Connor, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and tenor Ronan Tynen. Each June UK hosts a national workshop for choral directors called the Summer Choral Workshop.
Dr. Johnson is presently Music Director of the Lexington Singers. The 180-voice community chorus annually performs major works with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. The Singers have toured internationally, most recently to Brazil, France, Italy, and Austria. In 2000 the chorus performed Mozart’s Requiem with the Vienna Mozart Orchestra in the famous Hofburg Palace and sang the evening mass at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. In 2003 the chorus performed in St. Marks Cathedral in Venice and sang mass at St. Peters Basilica in Vatican City. In 1999 the Lexington Singers celebrated its 40th anniversary with a performance in New York City as Johnson made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the Singers and orchestra in Faure’s Requiem.
Dr. Johnson’s recently released video "Ready...Set...Sing!" is published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing. It has been featured at music educators’ conventions from Ohio to Hawaii. In addition, Johnson maintains an active schedule as an adjudicator and guest conductor for high school and collegiate choirs throughout the United States. He has conducted honor choruses in 30 states and has appeared as a featured clinician at ACDA or MENC conventions in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.