Ben Johns, a second year DMA conducting student at the Eastman School of Music, worked for over 13 years with the professional singing ensemble, Chanticleer. During his tenure with the ensemble, he sang tenor and baritone and became the group’s first full-time Director of Education. He founded the Chanticleer LAB Choir, an honors small ensemble for young singers reviewed by artssf.com as “rather astonishing” and “quite remarkable.” In 2010, following their inaugural National Youth Choral Festival, Chanticleer won the Education and Outreach Award from Chorus America. As Director of Education, Mr. Johns worked with approximately 500 choral ensembles in master classes and choral festivals.
Mr. Johns maintains an active career as a music director, professional singer, and private voice teacher. He served on music faculties of UC Davis, UC Irvine, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Diablo Valley College, and currently teaches aural skills at Eastman. From 2012-2016, he was artistic director of the San Francisco-based women’s choral ensemble, Musae. Johns has performed with the American Bach Soloists, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Clerestory, Artists Vocal Ensemble, Les Hommes, Oakland Opera, San Francisco Renaissance Voices, Cut Circle, and Voices. His students have gone on to music programs at Oberlin, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Southern California, Chapman University, McGill University, Boston Conservatory, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
A four-time graduate of the University of California, Irvine, Ben holds a BA in dance, a BM in vocal performance, a BS in chemistry, and an MFA in choral conducting. His honor thesis, “Exploring the Neurobiological Basis for the Effect of Movement on the Voice: Quantifying Dalcroze-Type Methods,” earned him the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and publication in the UC Irvine Undergraduate Research Journal. Now a student of Dr. William Weinert, Johns has studied conducting with Joseph Huszti, Stephen Tucker, and Vance George and voice with Nina Hinson. As a professional dancer Johns has worked with the Anaheim Ballet, California Musical Theater’s Music Circus, and the Crystal Cathedral. As a chemist Johns worked as a biochemical and physics patent proofreader and as a researcher in neurochemistry under Dr. A. Richard Chamberlin.