Dr. Lawrence Johnson is a tenor who has sung extensively throughout the Midwest and Southwest, as well as diverse venues in Munich, Germany and Disneyworld. He has had many operatic roles but his favorites include Rodolfo in La Boheme and Tamino in The Magic Flute. This professional artist now teaches at Southern Utah University as the Associate Professor of Music.
Starting out as a computer science major, Johnson discovered that he didn’t have time for it on top of his practicing for theater and musical performances. So he made the switch to follow his passion and has never looked back.
Johnson has always respected teaching as a profession and appreciates the aspect of handing down accumulated knowledge generation after generation. When SUU had an opening for a voice professor, he applied immediately. Since then, he has had the chance to see students and the program grow.
“I think the quality of our teaching at SUU has continued to improve immensely,” said Johnson. “I have had the ability to collaborate with all of my music colleagues, as well as across the other disciplines in theater, dance, and art.”
At SUU, Johnson teaches applied voice (voice lessons) at all levels for both music majors and BFA students. He also teaches diction and literature courses in French and German. His other classes include:
- MUSC 1410 Individual Applied Music Instruction
- MUSC 2410 Individual Applied Music Instruction
- MUSC 3410 Individual Applied Music Instruction
- MUSC 4410 Individual Applied Music Instruction
- MUSC 2680 French Dictation and Literature for Singers
- MUSC 2670 German Dictation and Literature for Singers
With his background in performance, Johnson has been able to perform in operas, musicals, concerts, and recitals. Johnson was an international finalist in the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition in Philadelphia. He has also had the opportunity to work with distinguished luminaries including Sherrill Milnes, Martin Katz, and Tony Randall.
Johnson has also received many awards, including the Wisconsin State NATS winner, a Chicago regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, and an international finalist in the Luciano Pavarotti International Competition, hand chosen by Pavarotti himself.
“All of this stage and performing experience has helped me become the best teacher I can be, passing along all of my knowledge and mentoring,” said Johnson. “Many of my students have gone on to win competitions, enter graduate school, and pursue their own performing and teaching careers, making my teaching extremely rewarding.”
“Music is such an intricate part of our lives, and singing is an expression of ourselves. Our bodies are literally our instruments, and every voice is unique. Helping people develop their "instrument" is extremely rewarding and there is great pride when a teacher sees their students grow and succeed.”
Johnson started his education at the University of Wisconsin where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance. From there he received both his master's and doctorate of Music in Voice Performance from Northwestern University. Johnson continues to actively perform locally and regionally with groups such as the Orchestra of Southern Utah, in oratorio, opera, and recital performances.
*Writing & Project Management Contributor: Marlie Scott