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Miles H. Johnson (Conductor)

Born: USA

The American conductor, Miles H. Johnson (“Mity), became professor of music at St. Olaf College and took over direction the St. Olaf Band in 1957, holding the position of conductor for 37 years. Under his vigorous direction, the band achieved national and international prominence as a symphonic ensemble. Included among its honors: performing in joint concerts with the Royal Military School of Music-Kneller Hall and the famed Kneller Hall Fanfare Trumpets, who perform for the British royalty on all state occasions. The St. Olaf Band is the only American college or university band ever to play in concert with the Kneller Hall musicians.

During his tenure, the St. Olaf Band covered a lot of territory during its centennial celebrations, which included a return trip to Great Britain in June of 1991, a three-week tour of England, Wales, and Scotland. One of the highlights of that tour was a meeting with renowned British composer Malcolm Arnold, who attended the band's concert in Norwich. The composer was lavish in his praise of the group, which performed Four Scottish Dances, one of his compositions. The band was also well received at the famed Aldeburgh Festival, in which it was the first college musical organization ever to perform. In addition to its tours to England, Norway, and continental Europe, the St. Olaf Band makes an annual tour of a portion of the USA, generally during the Interim break before second semester.

In 1994, after after his 37th year as band director of the St. Olaf Band, Miles H. Johnson retired. His successor was Dr. Timothy Mahr. In 1978, Miles H. Johnson, founded the Minnesota Symphonic Winds and was its conductor until 1999. His successor as principal conductor of this band was also Timothy Mahr.

Source: St. Olaf Band & Minnesota Symphonic Winds Websites
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2010)

Recordings of Arrangements/Transcriptions of Bach’s Works




Miles H. Johnson


Bach-Cailliet: Fugue in G minor ("Little"), BWV 578, transcribed for orchestra
Bach-Cailliet: Chorale Prelude Herzlich tut mich verlangen (Fervent is my longing), BWV 727, transcribed for orchestra

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