Ben Johns makes his debut as the artistic director of Musae this 2012-13 season. He earned a master's degree in choral conducting in 2009 from the University of California, Irvine and holds undergraduate degrees in dance, vocal performance, and chemistry. He won the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for his honor's thesis topic, "Exploring the Neurobiological Basis for the Effect of Movement on the Voice," which he presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers conference at California State University, Sacramento in 2004.
Ben is also the director of education for Chanticleer, the professional men's vocal ensemble in which he formerly sang for three years. Under his direction, Chanticleer's education program won Chorus America's prestigious Education and Outreach Award. (There may or may not be a YouTube video of him tap dancing and doing a flying leap at the 2010 Chorus America convention.) Ben's education duties include, but are not limited to, directing Chanticleer's LAB Choir (a small ensemble, youth, and honor choir), giving master classes to Bay Area high school and middle school choirs, and conducting youth choral festivals in the Bay Area and abroad.
Ben also teaches voice privately and continues to sing professionally as a soloist and choral artist around the country.