Terre Johnson


Terre Johnson is Chair of the Department of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Houston Baptist University. Prior to coming to HBU, Dr. Johnson’s career included every kind of choir, from church music to professional conducting to teaching in public schools and universities. He moved to Houston from Birmingham, Alabama in 2017, where he was Minister of Music at the Vestavia Hills Baptist Church, and was the founder and conductor of the acclaimed Birmingham Chamber Chorus and the Southeastern Chamber Orchestra.


A Life Member of the American Choral Directors Association, he has served as National Chair for Music in Worship and is currently National Chair for Lifelong Singing, providing resources and advocacy for those who conduct in houses of worship or community chorus settings. In addition, he edits ACDA’s new national publication for Music in Worship, "Hallelujah, Amen!" His compositions are published by Morning Star Music Publishers, Choristers Guild and Southeastern Music.


Prior to his tenure in Birmingham, Dr. Johnson was Conductor-in-Residence for Midamerica Productions in New York, and Music Director of the New Jersey Choral Society. His fourteen concerts in Carnegie Hall have met with critical success. In his debut performance in 1996 the music was "splendidly presented," according to Bill Zakariasen in The Westsider. In 2004 the New York Times lauded the “robust choral sound” his chorus produced in a concert featuring Metropolitan Opera Soprano Angela Brown, and narrated by Academy Award Winner Olympia Dukakis. While in New York he became closely associated with composer and conductor John Rutter, and in addition to sharing the concert stage, traveled around the country to prepare over 100 choruses for performances with him. While at Florida State University, he became accompanist and rehearsal assistant to Robert Shaw, who visited the campus frequently to conduct concerts.


Terre Johnson has taught in public middle and high schools, as well as in small colleges and large universities. While still in his twenties and a graduate assistant at Florida State University, the sudden death of a professor prompted the faculty to ask him to teach both undergraduate and graduate level advanced conducting classes. As Director of Choral Activities at Troy University, Johnson saw choral enrollment triple, as well as the addition of three ensembles. As Visiting Professor and Interim Department Chair at Judson College, he oversaw substantial growth and improvement in choral music as well as the entire department.


Dr. Johnson is receiving increasing acclaim as a composer. In May of 2014 he conducted the premiere of his first extended work, "Missa Femina," for Women’s Chorus and orchestra in Carnegie Hall. His second extended work, "Song of the Captive," was premiered in Florence, Italy, in June of 2016. And in 2017 he shared conducting duties with his daughter, Cameron Johnson Weiler, in the Carnegie Hall premiere of "The Wind," an extended work commemorating the tenth anniversary of the destruction of Alabama's Enterprise High School by a tornado. His arrangement of the hymn "Come, Ye Disconsolate" is a best seller, and has been recorded by the St. Olaf Choir, Sounding Light, and the Baylor University A Cappella Choir. In 2006 Terre Johnson served as Guest Conductor and Assistant Artistic Director for the Voices in the House Festival in the Sydney Opera House, and held similar positions in the International Haydn Festival 2009 in Vienna, and in the International Festival of the Aegean in Greece in 2010. His choirs have received invitations to perform at ACDA conferences, and performed in the Warsaw Mozart Festival in 1995, and in the Rome Easter Festival in 1999. His conducting and administrative skills are in demand, and in recent years he has conducted three opera productions for Samford University, two music theatre productions and an opera production at Troy University, and two concerts with the Huxford Symphony Orchestra of the University of Alabama, and he and has served the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra as its Managing Director. His youtube channel, found at www.youtube.com/vhbcevents, contains performances from recent years, and has been viewed 450,000 times. Terre Johnson has three children. Daughter Cameron Weiler is Choral Director at Enterprise High School in Alabama, daughter Kelly is an elementary school teacher in Port St. Joe, Florida, and son Christopher is a medical student at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.