Barrie Johnson B.Ed (Hons) FTCL LTCL
Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, gaining early musical experiences through Salvation Army brass bands and choirs, his playing career included being principal euphonium with bands in Newcastle & Kettering.
He has also featured on tenor horn, tuba and trombone with bands in London, Kettering and Birmingham, including City of London Brass. During this time he also took part in performance tours to Norway and Canada, featured on radio and LP recordings and performed in many major concert venues throughout the UK.
Barrie has been conducting school, youth and community groups in all musical genres for many years.
As a school music teacher, he has taught in primary, middle and secondary schools, heading up very successful music and expressive arts departments for over 35 years, retiring as Director of Music at Northampton School for Boys in 2015 after 14 years in post.
Directing groups, including Wind Bands and Big Bands, from 3 different schools to regular top award-winning performances at the National Concert Band Festival and the National Festival of Music for Youth, programming challenging music, was key to raising standards and student aspiration. It also allowed him to direct performances in some of the country’s top performance venues including Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall, London, and The Sage, Gateshead.
At NSB, he formed two community bands - Cripps Hall Jazz Orchestra and East Midlands Wind Orchestra - as exemplars to further raise aspirations in the school’s top groups. Regular successful performance jazz tours for his Big Band and Jazz Vocal Group, to New York, Los Angeles and Florida were also organised to further raise standards by partnering with high performance American school groups and receiving coaching from such international stars as Gordon Goodwin, Eric Marienthal, Wayne Bergeron, Jeff Jarvis, Chuck Owen and Tom Brantley.
As well as school groups he has also conducted many area and county youth bands (both brass and wind), community bands and choirs, and has conducted groups, and acted as Musical Director, on a variety of residential holiday music courses.
He has also been involved with IAJE (International Association for Jazz Education), adjudicated regularly at various music festivals and, together with Keith Allen, is responsible for keeping NCBF Repertoire lists and the Criteria Sheet up-to-date and relevant.
Since retiring from full-time teaching he has continued to teach A-level, act as a freelance Music Education consultant, adjudicate, guest conduct, lead workshops/holiday courses and compose and arrange for Wind Band and Big Band.