Heather Johnson was accepted into The Curtis Institute of Music at age 17, and received her bachelor's degree in Horn Performance from Curtis in 1992. She also holds a masters in Horn Performance from SUNY Stony Brook (2013) and a masters in Conducting from YSU Dana School of Music (expected 12/2014).
While at Curtis, she studied horn with Myron Bloom (former principal horn, Cleveland Orchestra), and the late Mason Jones (former principal horn, Philadelphia Orchestra). With The Curtis Orchestra she played in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Philadelphia's Academy Hall. She has worked with several major conductors including Charles Dutoit, Yuri Temirkanov, David Zinman, Otto-Werner Mueller, William Smith, Riccardo Muti, Andre Raphel, Leonard Slatkin, Kurt Masur, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Frederick Fennell, Henry Charles Smith, Lukas Foss, Alan Gilbert, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Michael Tilson Thomas and Wolfgang Sawallisch. Summer sessions were spent with The Curtis Orchestra at the Evian Music Festival in France conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich.
Heather Johnson's other teachers and coaches include Froydis Ree Wekre, Gene Standley, Glenn Dodson, David Wick, William Purvis, Janine Gaboury, Dennis Abelson, Dr. Fred Ehnes, Dr. Stacie Mickens, Dr. Eldon Matlick, Donald Montanaro, Anthony Gigliotti, Richard Woodhams, Philip Farkas, William VerMeulen, Randall Faust, Douglas Campbell, David Hoyt, Dr. Tiffany Damicone, Guy Carmichael, Louis-Philippe Marsolais, William Slocum, Kerry Turner, Kristina Mascher, Martin Webster, Dr. Steven Gage, and Thomas Bacon.
Ms. Johnson has attended several other music festivals, including Tanglewood, Interlochen, Eastern Music Festival, Ashlawn-Highland Opera Festival, Domaine Forget, and Banff. Her past ensemble experiences include the Philadelphia Ballet, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Columbus Symphony (OH), Charleston Symphony (SC), Jupiter Symphony (NY), Traverse Symphony (MI), Syracuse Symphony (NY), and the Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass (PA). Her local experiences include the Cleveland Pops Orchestra (OH), Youngstown Symphony (OH), Wheeling Symphony (WV), Academy Chamber Orchestra (PA), Erie Philharmonic (PA), and Pittsburgh Ballet (PA).
Ms. Johnson has a solid pedagogical foundation and a comprehensive musical background, as well as a strong interest in a holistic approach to teaching. She excels in "turning around" students with embouchure problems or challenges with sound production. Time management, goal setting, and life skills are addressed when applicable. Her students are praised for their musicality, advanced technique, and mature presence. Her HS students are regularly ranked in the top 10 positions in PMEA ensembles and have been accepted to music conservatories and other colleges on scholarship.
Heather Johnson maintains a private studio, freelances, and performs recitals. She lives in Slippery Rock with her husband, Mike Magee, a Juilliard-trained double bassist and luthier.