The American choral conductor and music pedagogue, John H(oward) Dickson received the Master of Music degree in music history and literature from Baylor University., and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from The University of Texas at Austin. He has done post-doctoral study at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England, where he was appointed Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College. In this post, he sang with Sir David Willcocks and The Bach Choir in London. A second post-doctoral fellowship allowed him to serve as principal rehearsal conductor for The Bach Choir in Musical Director David Hill’s absence..
John Dickson served as professor of conducting and associate dean for doctoral studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s School of Church Music in Louisville, Kentucky (1986-2000). From 2001 to 2008, Dickson was Director of Choral Studies and Chair of the Conducting Division at Texas Tech University, succeeds Stanley L. Roberts, who returned to full-time teaching after having served the University as interim dean since May 2007. In his capacity at Texas Tech, Dickson he conducted the University Choir, Madrigal Singers and the Lubbock Chorale, and supervises the Doctor of Musical Arts, Ph.D. and Master of Music programs in choral conducting. In 2002, the Choir represented the USA as the only American choir selected to perform for the Association of British Choral Directors (ABCD) national convention in York, England. Additional invitational performances include the American Choral Directors Association ACDA Southwest Regional convention in Little Rock in the spring of 2004, and the 2005 ACDA national convention in Los Angeles, preceded by invitational performances for the Texas Music Educators Association conference in San Antonio. In January 2007, the Choir was featured in the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces Music Festival - “Crossing the Divide: Exploring Influence and Finding Our Voice,” in Austin, Texas. The Texas Tech University Choir was one of two featured collegiate choirs at the 2008 Texas Music Educators Association annual conference in San Antonio. In addition to the TMEA concert, the Choir was also the featured choir for composer Eric Whitacre’s workshop.
In July of 2008, John Dickson was named Dean of the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. In February 2012, The Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Music announced that Dickson will become the school’s new Director of Choral Studies and serve as a professor of music, effective August 15, 2012. He will fill the vacancy left by longtime Director of Choral Studies Kenneth Fulton, who is retiring after 27 years with the LSU School of Music
John Dickson has served as conductor and guest clinician for numerous state, regional, and national American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conventions, All-State choruses, and choral festivals around the world. Internationally known as a conducting pedagogue, he has presented master-classes before the Association of British Choral Directors (ABCD), the Russian State Music Conservatories of St. Petersburg and Moscow and workshops throughout England, Wales, Scotland, Finland, France, and Canada. He was the founder and Artistic Director for the Cambridge University, St. John’s College /Texas Tech University Summer Choral Institute, as well as musical and founding director of the C.S. Lewis Foundation’s Oxbridge Choral Institute, a professional chorus serving the triennial symposium in Oxford and Cambridge, England.
A strong advocate for church music and a church musician, John Dickson held the position of minister of music at St. Paul’s on the Plains Episcopal Church in Lubbock, Texas (until 2008), having previously served as minister of music and worship at Second Baptist Church in Lubbock. He has accumulated more than 30 years of service in Baptist churches.
Recently appointed to the Editorial Board of The Choral Journal, he serves as editor of the monthly column for sacred music, “Hallelujah.” The Choral Journal and The Mastersinger have published his articles on a holistic approach to conducting.
John Dickson is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the Association of British Choral Conductors and the Texas Music Educators Association. He is the current vice president for the Texas Choral Directors Association college division. He is a founding board member and Texas representative for the National Collegiate Choral Organization.
John Dickson’s wife, Becky, has served as a critical care nurse for nearly 30 years. She presently works at the Lubbock Heart Hospital where she serves as a circulator in the Cardiac Cath Lab. They have two sons. Matthew, a graduate of Boston University, is a professional actor living in New York City where he recently finished working on The Coast of Utopia, a trilogy by Tom Stoppard that ran for six months at Lincoln Center before receiving the Tony award for best new play on Broadway. Andrew is a pre-business major at Richland College in Dallas and enjoys many athletic interests including basketball, football, volleyball and golf. Dickson’s extracurricular activities include gardening, bass fishing, running and hiking.