Richard Johnson - Coastal Carolina University
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Richard Johnson

Professor, Music

Contact Richard Johnson

Edwards 280

Fall 2021 Office Hours
Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays 11:00am - 12:00pm
Tuesdays/Thursdays 10:00 - 11:00am
*Email for an appointment. 


Richard Lawrence Johnson is Professor of Music at Coastal Carolina University. His previous experience includes Salisbury University and ten years of public-school teaching to include Crystal Lake Central High School and the renowned George Nelson Tremper High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin. During his thirty years in higher education Dr. Johnson has served in Arts administration, as associate provost for graduate studies, conductor to collegiate instrumental ensembles and artistic director to community ensembles in Illinois, Maryland and South Carolina.

Dr. Johnson earned an international reputation for his interpretation of music of composer David Rakowski, the 1995 Hedwig Van Amerigen Rome Prize recipient. Among numerous guest-conducting engagements, notable appearances include the American Academy of Rome, the United States Naval Academy Chamber Music Series and the Maryland Music Educators Association. His orchestral experience includes the Arlington Echo Advanced String Orchestra Camps in Maryland and the Salisbury Symphony Community Orchestra. He has received numerous accolades from American composers for his performances by John Frantzen, Rossano Galante, James Syler, David Rakowski, Peter Westergaard and Beth Wiemann. 

Dr. Johnson has appeared as guest conductor in Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, South Carolina and Wisconsin. He has conducted over thirty all-county, regional high school festivals and intercollegiate band performances. He continues to maintain an extensive schedule as clinician, adjudicator and consultant in the fine arts.

During 1996, he presented at the Ferenc Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary and research at the National Széchényi Library. His interaction with composers Kamillo Lenvay and Frigyes Hidas also produced a solo work for Euphonium and Band. Hidas’s “Euphoniada” has recently been selected as one of the preliminary required works for the Leonard Falcone International Competition. Other research invitations have taken him to Genoa, Lucca, Milan, Pisa and Turin visiting with conservatory administration and touring the famed Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory, Teatro alla Scala, Biblioteca Statale di Cremona and touring the Stradivarius Museo del Violino.

Sponsored in part by a grant from the Charles and Martha Fulton Endowment Dr. Johnson developed a series of televised concert broadcasts with the Salisbury University Wind Ensemble. In conjunction with Access 26 Television Station, these 2002/03 broadcasts were viewed throughout the Maryland Eastern Shore, Delaware and eastern Virginia. 

He has served as member of regional CBDNA committees and he is past president of Maryland CBDNA with fifteen years of service in this position. He has served on numerous session panels, presenting at regional and national conferences of the College Band Directors National Association. 

Dr. Johnson is past president of the Maryland Council for Higher Education in Music, and has served as representative to both South Carolina and Maryland Higher Education Executive Council. He has served on executive boards for State Arts Councils, Maryland and South Carolina Music Educators Association and the Maryland ICAO Fine Arts Discipline Group Task Force. He remains a lifetime member of the Percy Aldridge Grainger Society. He is published in several state and regional professional journals. Dr. Johnson also lectures on a variety of topics in the Fine Arts. He is an honorary member of the Rho Nu chapter of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.

Dr. Johnson holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from Michigan State University and undergraduate and advances degrees in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. He is grateful for support, guidance and inspiration from many individuals throughout his career. Among those are Harry Begian, Kenneth Bloomquist, Eugene Corporon, Bernard Goodman, Ronald W. Johnson, Paul Vermel and David Whitwell. Since 1994 he has also held administrative positions as chairperson at Salisbury University and Coastal Carolina University as well as associate provost of graduate studies.

Richard and his wife Amanda have residences in Myrtle Beach and Pemaquid Point, Maine. They enjoy golf together, international travel, restoring their 115-year-old Maine cottage and catering to their solo cat, Valentino.


D.M.A., Conducting, Michigan State University

M.S., Music Education, University of Illinois

B.S., Music Education, University of Illinois

Teaching Areas

Performance, conducting pedagogy, and instrumental literature

Research Areas

Wind Band literature and conducting pedagogy