Artistically, The SSMF has shone brightly during John’s tenure. In recent seasons, the festival has commissioned or premiered new works by Avner Dorman, Alejandro Vinao, Jorge Variego, Adolphus Hailstork, and Timothy K. Adams, Jr. The 2023 festival will premiere a new work for voice and chamber ensemble by acclaimed composer Shawn Okpebholo. In 2019 the festival added a two week string academy, and in 2021 launched OperaFest Sewanee. Guest conductors have included Robert Moody, JoAnn Falletta, Gemma New, Kalena Bovell, Jacomo Bairos, Jeffery Grogan, Andrew Crust, and Janna Hymes. A committed and inclusive leader, John has worked with his colleagues at the festival to build deep and meaningful relationships with a number of Musical Pathways programs, resulting in one of the most diverse student populations of any summer program.Hailed as a “particularly fine timpanist” by the Washington Post, John maintains a dynamic career as a soloist, orchestral, and chamber musician. Recent concerto performances include the Philip Glass Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists, Michael Daugherty’s Raise the Roof, and UFO percussion concerto, and Viet Cuong’s Re(NEW)al concerto for quartet and orchestra. His orchestral work includes regular engagements with virtually every symphony and opera company in the DC region.For 15 years, John was Director of Percussion Studies and Associate Professor at George Mason University. The Mason percussion group, which John founded, has performed all over the world, including tours of Costa Rica, scheduled tours of China, and clinic performances at the Virginia Music Educators, New York State Music Educators Western International Band Conference, The College Music Society mid-Atlantic and National Convention, and twice at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention.Recognized internationally as an engaging and thoughtful clinician, John has enjoyed the unique opportunity to work with gifted young musicians at a wide range of institutions, including the Eastman School of Music, the Shepherd School at Rice University, The University of Michigan, The Juilliard Pre-College, Interlochen School for the Arts, University of Tennessee, University of North Carolina, The National Institute of Music in San Jose Costa Rica, The University of Costa Rica, and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He has presented a regular series of workshops for the percussion students at New York University for several years.John studied conducting with Anthony Maiello and began early percussion training with Jonathan Haas and William Richards. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Greg Zuber and Daniel Druckman. He completed a Master’s Degree at Temple University, where he studied with legendary percussionist Alan Abel. Additional studies include management and leadership training at the Devos Institute at the Kennedy Center, The Fundraising Standard, and The Harvard Business School online. Starting in March 2021, John assumed the role of Executive Director of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, alongside his continued work at Sewanee.