Ernest Johnson, Choral Director
Ernest Johnson (B.M., Kent State University; M.M., Ithaca College) is a 30+ year veteran of teaching and choral conducting. This is his 21st year at West Potomac, where he conducts five choirs. Prior to coming to Virginia, he held choral positions in schools in Cleveland, Ohio; Mamaroneck, NY; Merrick, NY (L.I), and private schools in NYC. He is also certified in Dalcroze Eurhythmics. His past professional conducting positions include Music Director of the Maryland Choral Society and Music Minister of Heritage Presbyterian Church.
For twelve years, Mr. Johnson lived and worked in New York City, where he studied voice, conducting, piano, acting, dance, and performed with various choral chamber ensembles and professional church choirs. He also presented arts-in-education assembly programs and workshops to thousands of elementary children and their teachers throughout the tri-state region of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Mr. Johnson has a passion for teaching and conducting. He has served as a mentor teacher in Fairfax County, and has presented in-service sessions in sight-reading and eurhythmics in both New York and Virginia. He was lead writer for the FCPS Secondary Choral Program of Studies (POS) which outlines objectives, goals and teaching strategies for all of Fairfax County’s middle and high school choral directors. In 1993, He was West Potomac’s Teacher of the Year and he has been listed in four editions of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. He has served two terms as VMEA District 10 Chairperson, and was nominated for VCDA state president. Under his direction, West Potomac ensembles have performed at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, Kennedy Center, US Capitol, White House (for former President and Senator Clinton) US State Department (for Secretary of State Condolesa Rice), National Cathedral, Library of Congress, Mt. Vernon, Woodlawn Plantation, Gadsby’s Tavern, and on FCPS Channel 21. Internationally, WP ensembles have performed in Gloucester Cathedral, and in the Tuscany International Choral Festival in Italy. This year the WP choirs performed on stage at the newly renovated Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in NYC, part of the bicentennial celebration of Lincoln’s birthday.
Since arriving at West Potomac in 1989, his choral ensembles have been selected five times to perform at the VMEA conferences. They also consistently receive superior ratings at VMEA choral festivals.