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Don Johns

Don Johns is an in-demand percussion performer and educator in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan area. Mr. Johns is principal timpanist of the Apollo Orchestra in Bethesda, MD/Washington, DC. Additionally, he is the lead percussionist for Soulful Symphony (Columbia, MD). He also plays as an extra percussionist with the Richmond Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, Maryland Symphony, Mid-Atlantic Symphony (MD), Bay-Atlantic Symphony (NJ), and the American Festival Pops Orchestra (VA).  Additionally, Mr. Johns is a proud member of both the Gateways Festival Orchestra (Rochester, NY) and the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra (Charleston, SC) - two groundbreaking groups that spotlight professional black classical musicians.  Along with orchestral work, Mr. Johns has played drum set and percussion for musical productions at the Kennedy Center (DC), Brooklyn Academy of Music (NY), Lincoln Theatre (DC), Atlas Theatre (DC), Signature Theatre (VA), Studio Theatre (DC), Onley Theatre (MD), and Toby’s Dinner Theatre (MD). He also plays drum set and timpani for several churches in the Washington, DC area. Mr. Johns is the Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Bowie State University in Bowie, MD. Mr. Johns is also the Percussion Director at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, MD. His percussion ensemble was the featured high school percussion ensemble for the Percussive Arts Society’s 2017 Maryland/Delaware Day of Percussion. In addition, Mr. Johns was the percussion coach for the DC Youth Orchestra Program for thirteen years (2006-2019). From 2005-2015, Mr. Johns taught band and orchestra in both Prince George’s County Public Schools (2005-2011) and at KIPP DC (2011-2015). Currently, Mr. Johns is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Percussion Performance at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia.  He has a Master of Music Degree in Percussion Performance (2011) and Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education (2005); both from the University of Maryland. In addition, Mr. Johns has served on the music grant reviewing panels for the Washington DC, State of Maryland, and Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Councils. He is a proud Education Artist Endorser of Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets. He was born and raised in Howard County, Maryland, and currently resides in Washington, DC.