So. I grew up in Tyler, Minnesota, in the Southwestern part of the state. Tyler is in Lincoln County, one of the only counties in all of Minnesota without a stoplight. Yes, no stoplight. Unless you count the one at the gas station car wash; most people don't.
My folks started me on organ lessons when I was six years old, with the probable intent of my eventual making music in my hometown parish, St. Dionysius in Tyler, Minnesota. I started playing there, for stations of the cross, when I was 11, and started playing for masses shortly after that. I also played the trombone and sang throughout high school.
In college I was active in the men's chorus and the Catholic Student Association Choir and several other shows and other musical tidbits. I began seriously writing music about this time, after taking a few classes and realizing I had at least some ability in the area.
After 4 years at Harvard (AB in Music and Folklore and Mythology) and 2 at Radford University (MA in Music, Choral Conducting), I almost immediately moved to the St. Louis area and began at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows as Coordinator of Music and Liturgy. After 14 years there, I recently (July, 2012) took a new position as Director of Music Ministries at Sts. Joachim and Ann Parish in St. Peters, MO. I've written quite a lot of sacred music in quite a lot of styles since coming to town in 1998, and some of it has recently been recorded and published by GIA Publications, World Library Publications, and Oregron Catholic Press. A lot of my music is congregational, but I've also written some strictly choral pieces, and some solo pieces as well.
In December of 2000, I met Erin Hammond. To make a long story ridiculously short, we married on November 27, 2004, and live in Saint Louis with our dog, Gracie. Erin is the Registrar at Aquinas Institute of Theology, where she is both beautiful and funny.
Beyond Erin and ministry at the Joachim and Ann, I also enjoy singing with the St. Louis Chamber Chorus and serving as their Assistant Conductor. I've sung with the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, and the St. Louis Archdiocesan Chrous as well. I'm accompanist for services at Congregation Shaare Emeth in West County St. Louis. I also play a lot of music around town for occasional musicals, concerts, masses, weddings and the like. I do some graphic design work for theArchdiocese of St. Louis, somewebdesign, keep a small Apple museum on the third floor, and I often help at Catholic summer camps (like Youth Sing Praise and Young Neighbors in Action) in music and prayer roles as well. I co-wrote the 2015 musical for Youth Sing Praise, titled Just Pretend.
In 2004, my friend Shannon Cerneka and I officially formed the duo Oddwalk Ministries - visit our site for more info on Oddwalk's mission. A lot of my energies - performing, compositionally, religiously - are focused in this direction. I recommend that you visit our Oddwalk site for a lot of recent music, pictures, video, and more.
I also recently earned another masters degree, this time in theology, at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, in 2008.
Making music and writing music - especially music of faith - is a real outlet for me, a chance to express myself in what I feel is a deep and unique way; a chance to express thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that words and actions might not be able to so well.
I hope I get a chance to meet you, get to know you, and share my music with you someday soon!
Email me at J&A: email@example.com
Call me at J&A: (636) 980-6255
Visit my personal website: orinjohnson.com