Frank Johnson (circa 1956)
First Presbyterian Choir Boy
Singing has been at the center of Frank Johnson's musical life and career since his earliest years as an Oklahoma choir boy, through high school musicals to collegiate chorales, to fifty years as a musical and vocal director, conductor, composer/arranger, coach and accompanist in song recital, cabaret, dramatic theater, musical theater and opera. Degrees in piano and in composition from Carnegie-Mellon University, and in composition and music theory from the University of Pittsburgh launched Frank into a wide-ranging career in education, choral and religious work, symphony and chamber orchestra, dinner theater, dance theater, contemporary and classical music, with many opera and musical theater productions and performances throughout Western Pennsylvania and Ohio, in New York City and up and down the Eastern Seaboard. After playing as a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony, he founded a chamber orchestra and presenting organization, the Pittsburgh Philharmonia. Interested in further administrative leadership roles, Frank served as General Manager of a chamber music and jazz festival in Pennsylvania Dutch country, and then General Director of an opera company in the Deep South.
Having come and gone from San Francisco several times, Frank settled in the Mission District in the mid-1990's, and pursued a similarly broad range of activities. Since then, Bay Area associations have included TheaterWorks (Palo Alto); Beach Blanket Babylon; American Conservatory Theater (as musical director, and as adjunct faculty in their Master of Arts program); Teatro Zinzanni; San Francisco State University; San Francisco Community Music Center; Marin Theater; many regional opera companies and organizations, church and synagogue, public and private schools, community and professional theater productions, chamber music and recital throughout the area; even several happy years as a member of a busy Tom Petty cover band. After several years working with San Francisco's Pocket Opera, Frank has recently been named to the position of Resident Musical Director.