Brice L Johnson (b. Greencastle, IN, April 18 1989) found music at a young age. Inspired by its potential for creative expression, Brice chose to pursue music as his vocation and attended Indiana Wesleyan University in 2007 where he studied Music Composition and Percussion Performance. While attending IWU he recieved multiple honors such as the Jerry Franks Memorial Scholarship, Ruth Moshier Scholarship, IWU Music Scholarship (composition), and an IWU Music Service Grant. In 2011, he attended Butler University in pursuit of his Masters in Composition. At Butler he was awarded a tuition stipend as Graduate Assistant for the Composition Department. He is now attending Arizona State University in pursuit of his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition. Brice has recieved multiple commissions for new works, including a comission from the Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra, to be premiered in May of 2016. Brice’s primary instructors have been: Michael Schelle, Rodney Rogers, James DeMars, Jody Rockmaker, Frank Felice, Craig Hetrick, Todd Syswerda, and Marc Wooldridge. 

Brice is also an avid percussionist, having performed with many ensembles including: The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, The Marion Philharmonic Orchestra, Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, The Jordan College of the Arts Composers Orchestra, the Butler Graduate Percussion Quartet, The Indiana Wesleyan University Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and the IWU Percussion Ensemble.

As a musician Brice has strived to relate the enduring relationships of life and fiath, to his music. He is focused on committing to his calling and has found that trust is vital in truly expressing himself and the art form he wishes to convey. Creativity, in his opinion, is a gift that should not be squandered, but should be nurtured and brought to its full potential.

Brice spends much of his spare time with his loving wife, Samantha, friends, and family.

Contact:

Email: briceljohnson@gmail.com

​Website: www.briceljohnson.com

Tel: 765-719-2959

Compositions

Uncharted


PDF score

Uncharted is a work that reflects on great discoveries throughout time. Many things that are now commonplace were once unknown and had to be brought to light. I was particularly interested by the great discoveries of explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the 16th century. Through an expidition to the East Indies, after the famous Christopher Columbus discovery, Magellan became the first to circumnavigate the globe. On his journey he found passage through the southern tip of South America and eventually made it to the Phillipine Archipelago. Encounters with natives and uncharted lands eventually lead to the colonization of the Americas. By using "exotic" (less traditional) scales this piece creates a mood of far off mysticism. Weaving themes and rhythmic motives present flashes of the barbaric. In the end, we are left to ponder the distant calls of a native's primative instrument.

Premiered at the Phoenix Museum of Art:


Bass Drum (2013)


PDF score

Bass Drum is a satirical journey that means to explore the progression that every musician makes, starting when they first discover their instrument to the point of mastery. It has been said that it takes 10,000 hours to master an instrument, and this piece will scale these 10,000 hours into approximately 10 minutes worth of music. It is very important to focus the energy of these 15 minutes to make sure that the message is passed successfully and that the piece doesn't drag. The piece is meant to be theatrical and humorous, but is not a piece to take lightly or to be "faked". Ideally the instructions provided should be followed very closely and the performer's interpretation may come into play at the points indicated. Finally, many bass drum sounds are explored in this piece and there may be sounds that have not been attempted by the performer before. It is important that the performer experiments with the drum in order to gain some idea of the sounds that are desired. I also encourage the performer to try as many different sounds as possible (perhaps even ones not notated). These sounds discovered may be include as is appropriate in the context of the piece. For instance, in the beginning of the piece there is much more room for attempting new sounds as it is the part of the piece that mimics the phase of learning one's instrument where a young player is trying to find his/her sound, by whatever means necessary. Do not take this overboard, but some flexibility of sound may be required, depending on the drum and the performer. I sincerely hope you enjoy the piece.


Purge (2012)


PDF score

This piece is about many things. It is about letting go emotionally, mentally, and physically. It is about purging one's sense of identity and how we can face the world without it. It is partly autobiographical, based around my recent struggles and trials, but it isalso partly a commentary on societal ideals. It is a way to face pain and express dispair through my art, and in doing so let go of some of these feelings. But lets face it: its mainly about painful digestive issues.