Ben Johns

  • Visiting Director of Vocal Ensembles
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Conducting

Areas of Study


BA (dance), University of California, Irvine
BS (chemistry), University of California, Irvine
BMus (vocal performance), University of California, Irvine
MFA (choral conducting), University of California, Irvine
DMA (conducting), Eastman School of Music


Ben Johns directs the Oberlin College Choir, Musical Union, and Oberlin Chamber Singers, and teaches conducting.

He has conducted ensembles at the University of California, Davis; Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the University of California, Irvine, and the Eastman School of Music, and he has guest-conducted for Sonoma Bach, Clerestory, and Men in Blaque. He was artistic director of the Torrance Civic Chorale and San Francisco-based Musae, and director of education for the professional vocal ensemble Chanticleer.

With Chanticleer, Johns established the organization's first National Youth Choral Festival, which involved more than 500 high school musicians from Virginia to Hawaii, saw the birth of Chanticleer's elite LAB Choir program, and culminated in a series of performances at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Under his direction, Chanticleer's education program won Chorus America's Education Outreach Award.

Johns has sung professionally as a choral artist and soloist at venues around the world, including the Musikverein in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Paris Consulate, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, National Theater Taipei, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to singing with Chanticleer, he has sung with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, American Bach Soloists, Seraphic Fire, Clerestory, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. He appears on the Chanticleer recordings Our Favorite Carols, Best of Chanticleer, and Sound in Spirit; Seraphic Fire's Messiah Live; the Grammy Award-winning Charles Ives: The Complete Symphonies with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and under the baton of John Williams in the feature film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Spring 2023

Conducting II: Instrumental Analysis — APST 261
Conducting IV: Advanced Choral — APST 361
Seminar in Choral Conducting and Literature — APST 461
Seminar in Choral Conducting and Literature — APST 561
Graduate Project in Choral Conducting — APST 563
Musical Union — APST 700
Oberlin College Choir — APST 701
Chamber Singers — APST 823

Fall 2023

Graduate Project in Choral Conducting — APST 562