Ralph M. Johnson


Ralph M. Johnson is a composer and church musician living and working in the Twin Cities. He began composing music at age 14 under the guidance of his church choir director, Ronald A. Nelson, a leading Lutheran church musician and composer best known for his setting of the Holy Communion liturgy (Setting Four in Evangelical Lutheran Worship). The training and encouragement Ralph received in his youth — including many opportunities to hear his music sung in worship by the church’s choirs — led to further studies in composition at St. Olaf College (with Arthur Campbell) and the University of Minnesota (with Paul Fetler and Dominick Argento), and to a life that mixes worship leading and composing in almost equal measure.

Ralph’s original compositions and arrangements have been widely performed, and include recent commissions and performances by the St. Olaf Choir, Magnum Chorum and the Minnesota Boychoir, the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy of the Oregon Bach Festival, and Nautilus Music-Theater of St. Paul. His music is published by Augsburg Fortress, Choristers Guild, Earthsongs, Hinshaw Music and Neil A. Kjos Music Company.

In addition to an active life composing music for choir, solo voice, instruments, and the theater, Ralph currently serves as director of worship and music at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Minneapolis, MN.