Professor and Coordinator of Choral Activities
Eric A. Johnson, D.M.A., is the director of choral activities at Northern Illinois University and the founding artistic director of Cor Cantiamo. As a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Artworks grant recipient, he has been recognized for his artistic leadership, whose ensembles represent “choral artistry at its finest” (Lauridsen). He is a committed champion of contemporary choral music and dedicated to addressing social justice issues through interdisciplinary concert events. Johnson is the 2020 recipient of the Harold Decker Award, given by the Illinois American Choral Directors Association to celebrate his career of quality leadership and service to the art of choral music.
Ensembles under his direction have performed at multiple national and division conventions for the National Collegiate Choral Organization, American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators National Conference. He has served as a guest conductor at Avery Fisher Hall and the David Geffen Hall; Lincoln Center, toured internationally and prepared choruses for collaborations with professional orchestras.
Internationally, Johnson has served as a guest conductor of the Clare College Chapel Choir (Cambridge, England) and the Asian Pacific Activities Conference Choral Festival (Guangzhou, China); taught at Makumira University (Arusha, Tanzania); the Universidade do Estado do Rio Grande do Norte (Natal, Brazil); and directed guest choral residencies at Canterbury and Worcester Cathedrals.
As the artistic director of Cor Cantiamo, Johnson has recorded commercial CDs released on the Divine Arts and Centaur Records labels. He has collaborated with many leading composers of our time including Dominick DiOrio, Stacey Gibbs, Libby Larsen, Morten Lauridsen, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Timothy C. Takach, Sir John Tavener and James Whitbourn.
Johnson has published music with Santa Barbara Music Publishing, served as a music editor for Earthsongs Publications and has published articles in the Choral Journal. He is active nationally as a clinician and guest conductor for high school and collegiate honor choirs and regularly conducts choral/orchestral masterworks works with both collegiate and professional ensembles.
Through my experiences as a professional conductor, recording artist, music educator, and a lifelong passion for the choral arts I strive to provide authentic artistic experiences for our students that become the foundation for their lifelong musical journeys.