Born and raised in Southwest Virginia, Sheldon Johnson’s musical interest began at an early age and was encouraged by his family. Inspired to play the saxophone by his father, Sheldon began his saxophone studies in middle school and continues to be passionate about the instrument’s use in the classical music tradition.
As an artist with a breadth of interests, Sheldon uses the saxophone to explore musical styles of old as well as those of today. Active as a soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Johnson has performed in both the United States and Europe. As a soloist he has made appearances with the Bowling Green State Philharmonia, and the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician Mr. Johnson has performed as a part of the St. Olavfestdagene in Trondheim, Norway, multiple times at the United States Navy Band’s International Saxophone Symposium, as part of the Treetops Chamber Music Society’s subscription concert series, as well as the University of South Carolina’s Southern Exposure concert series. As a founding member of the Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble he has appeared on stage at Chicago’s Millennium Park and in concert with the saxophone class of the Paris Conservatory. Sheldon has also made appearances with the Spartanburg Philharmonic, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, and the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Sheldon appeared in the film Khu, the second act of artist Matthew Barney’s performances based on Norman Mailer’s Ancient Evenings.
Mr. Johnson is currently the saxophone instructor at Radford University in Radford, Virgina, having previously taught at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University, a Master of Music degree from Bowling Green State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of South Carolina. His saxophone teachers include David Jacobsen, Frederick L. Hemke, John Sampen, Bryson Borgstedt, and Clifford Leaman.