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Dr. Joyce Johnson Honored with Leadership Award From the American Guild of Organists

August 2020

Spelman Organist Joyce Johnson HonoredDr. Joyce Johnson, Spelman organist and professor emerita of music, was presented with the 2020 Edward A. Hansen Leadership Award by the American Guild of Organists.

Created in 1999 to honor the memory of the Guild’s distinguished past president, Edward A. Hansenl, the biennial award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the AGO.

A longtime member of the organist guild, Dr. Johnson has served in several AGO leadership roles including executive board member and adjudicator for competitions. She also served as a workshop contributor, a faculty member in the organization’s Pipe Organ Encounters outreach program and performed at regional conventions.

Following the presentation of the award, Dr. Johnson performed a chorale fantasia on "All Creatures of our God and King" by Janet Linker.

"I’ve only had one job my whole life, that’s at Spelman College," said Dr. Johnson. "I am deeply thankful for the connections I have been able to make for Spelman students through my work with the Guild."

A Musical Genius and a Gift That Keeps Giving

joyce johnson

A seasoned performer, Dr. Johnson plays both solo piano and solo organ recitals.  She has conducted workshops, played with chamber music groups and accompanied distinguished artists. She has concertized in Haiti, the West Indies and Brazil, where she played piano concerts in Sao Paulo as part of an international music festival (the Primeira Semana de Musica das Americas). She also was Artist-in-Residence at the Pernambuco Conservatory of Music in Recife, Brazil, and performed piano concerts in that area of South America.

She has had an expansive career as a performer, and has been heralded as “pianist extraordinaire, astounding and thrilling audiences with her consummate artistry. She brings to the piano a formidable bravura technique, great sensitivity in playing emotional, lyrical melodies, warmth and richness of tone, and impeccable musicianship. Additionally, she plays with self-assurance and control, and with authoritative command.” She was elected to The International Roster of Steinway Artists.

A child prodigy, Dr. Johnson's first concert was given at age eleven. After college, performance opportunities increased to include chamber music, collaborations with distinguished artists, and guest solo appearances with symphony orchestras. She made her debut with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in the Atlanta premiere performance of John La Montaine’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.

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