James Johnston enjoys a varied career as a conductor, performer, arranger and teacher. He currently is the Music Director of the Yellow Springs Chamber Orchestra, Yellow Springs Community Band, Yellow Springs Community Chorus, the Dayton Mandolin Orchestra and Music Director and Organist for the First Presbyterian Church in Yellow Springs. He also teaches conducting and humanities at Marian University in Indianapolis. Formerly Chair of the Music Department at Antioch College, Mr. Johnston has served as the Conducting Assistant of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and was the founding Music Director of the Southern Indiana Youth Symphony.
Mr. Johnston has also taught and conducted at Indiana University, Bloomington and at Earlham College. He has led successful concerts in past years with the Miami Valley Symphony, and the popular outdoor Symphony-on-the-Green summer concerts for the Muncie Symphony.
His arrangements and performances as a violinist can be heard on the Sony, Dorian, Titanic and North Star labels, and include music for the Christmas season, music from 19th c. America, and music about the game of baseball. Mr. Johnston arranged several pieces heard on the 2005 Public Radio special Carols for Dancing, produced by WGBH radio and played by the group Renaissonics. In the fall of 2007, he also arranged the title music for the Public Radio New Year’s special called Watchnight, which aired on stations nationwide. Mr. Johnston studied at Bucknell University, the New England Conservatory and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and conducting at the Pierre Monteux School and the Aspen Music School.