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Johnson to perform in concert at FMU, Sept. 4

FLORENCE, S.C. – Guitarist Allen Johnson will perform in concert, Sept. 4, as part of Francis Marion University’s First Tuesday Chamber Music Series.

The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in the Hyman Fine Arts Center’s Kassab Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

Allen Johnson is a native of Columbia and became involved in music at an early age. While attending Columbia High School, he was twice a member of the All State Chorus in the bass section and three times in the Columbia All City Band as a clarinetist. He also taught himself folk guitar and Appalachian Dulcimer.

At the University of South Carolina, he studied voice and clarinet, and began to pay close attention to classical guitar players. He was a member of the U.S.C. Concert Choir under the direction of Arpad Daraz, who had been a student of Zoltan Kodaly in Hungary. This choir toured Europe and took first place in the folk and contemporary categories in the Bela Bartok International Choir Competition in Debrecen, Hungary in 1976. They also performed at the Music Educators National Conference in New Orleans in 1975 and the 1977 Spoleto Festival.

Allen was also a member of the U.S.C. Collegium Musicum, which was an ensemble devoted to the performance of "early music," primarily of the Renaissance and Medieval periods. He played recorders, crumhorn, cornamuse, rackett, shawm and cornetto with this group, and was associated with lute, viol and guitar players. He received the B.A. of music in 1977.

Since making his way to Florence in 1983 to open a branch of Parker Music Co., Allen has been very involved in the local music scene, performing in the Florence Little Theatre pit orchestra, accompanying the Master Works Choir, numerous school and civic events, Madrigal dinners at South Florence High and Coker College and playing at many weddings. He has served as a adjunct professor at Coker College and has played violin in the Florence Symphony Orchestra for a number of years. He is a past board member of the Florence Area Arts Alliance, and presented a lecture to the Pee Dee Heritage Center on music in the Pee Dee, which was sponsored by FMU, Coker College, Coastal Carolina University and the Governor's School for Math and Science.

Allen taught the strings program at Wilson High and Williams Middle schools for the past three years, but has now decided to concentrate on private lessons and performing.

#19 / 8-24-07
Last Published: August 24, 2007 11:17 AM
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