Todd Johnson, CSUSB’s percussion teacher, joined the Music Department’s faculty in 2006. He previously taught percussion and music history at McMurry University in Texas, and at James Madison University, Washington and Lee University, and Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia.
As a soloist, Dr. Johnson's premieres include David Maslanka's Concerto for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble and Michael Colgrass's Déjà Vu for Percussion Quartet and Wind Ensemble, and he has recorded for Albany Records and for broadcasts on radio stations WQRS and WBLV. Johnson's orchestral background includes positions with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, and numerous regional orchestras in Michigan, Texas, Oklahoma, and Virginia. He has also performed with the internationally recognized Millar Brass Ensemble of Chicago, the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble, and with California’s Inland Percussion Group.
Most recently, Dr. Johnson formed Spark Percussion, a professional percussion ensemble in residence at Cal State San Bernardino and for which he serves as artistic director. Drawing members from CSUSB's faculty, alumni, and current students, the group vigorously explores repertoire of ever-growing complexity and ever-varying genres. True to its name, Spark Percussion actively pursues the creation of new music by encouraging compositions from promising new composers, including its own members. The ensemble also seeks to generate interest in percussion music and support percussion education through interaction with students of all ages and with the larger community. Spark has performed at a variety of regional venues including the California Percussive Arts Society’s Southern California Day of Percussion, the San Bernardino City Arts Night, the Redlands Bowl, and both CSUSB’s San Bernardino and Palm Desert campuses.
Dr. Johnson is an active researcher and guest lecturer on the subjects of muscle activity in snare drumming and four-mallet marimba transcriptions. He has lectured extensively in Texas, Oklahoma, and Virginia, at venues including universities, the Texas Music Educators Association convention, and the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy.