The central event of our gathering was our attendance at the Community Orchestra of Long Beach City College Spring Concert at 2:00 pm on Sunday, May 7, 2006. This was the last concert that Roger Johnson will conduct. The program featured Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor, performed by Timothy Durkovic, Pianist, and also included Shostakovich's Festive Overture in A major and Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E minor ("From the New World").
There was a reception after the concert, and a gift was presented to Roger Johnson. Our group collaborated with another group of current and recent students of Mr. Johnson in supporting the reception and contributing to the gift.
Those of us in town the previous day (Saturday the 6th) met at Tantalum Restaurant in Long Beach's marina area for food, drink and conversation.
More photographs from the reunion weekend are available in the Reunion Gallery.
In 2006, Roger Johnson concluded his final year as conductor of the Chamber Orchestra and Community Orchestra of Long Beach City College. He earned his Bachelor and Master of Musical Arts degrees from California State University at Long Beach and completed postgraduate work at Northwestern University and the University of Texas, Austin. His teaching career began in Long Beach in 1964 at DeMille Junior High School, and he was instrumental director at Millikan High School from 1968 to 1980. While at Millikan High School, his band, orchestra, and jazz ensemble programs earned consistent superior ratings, received invitations to perform for the California Music Educators Association, the Western Division of the Music Educators National Conference, and the Monterey Jazz Festival.
In 1980 he moved to Long Beach City College where he was the musical director of the college wind ensemble, show band, community band, chamber orchestra, and symphony orchestra. He served on the board of the Southern California Band and Orchestra Association and was awarded the Honorary Life Membership for service to that organization. He was instrumental representative for the Music Association of California Community Colleges.
Roger Johnson's guest conductor credits include the All Southern California Junior High School Honor Band and Orchestra, All Southern California High School Honor Orchestra, and the junior and senior high district orchestras in Long Beach. He served as a staff member of the West Texas State University summer music program and taught at Arrowbear Music Camp for twenty years. He served as guest conductor and adjudicator for various groups in California, Arizona, and Nevada.