John Harmon, Composer

John Harmon is an active, free-lance composer of orchestral,wind ensemble, chamber, choral, and jazz music. He also maintains a busy performance and recording schedule as well as a roster of private students in his studio. He has taught evolution of jazz, composition, arranging, music appreciation and improvisation at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and at Lawrence University, Appleton, WI. A native of Oshkosh and a graduate of Lawrence University, he studied with Belgian composer, Henri Pousseur, at the State University of New York in Buffalo and was a private student of world-renowned jazz pianist, Oscar Peterson. Harmon formed the group Matrix in the 1970's and performed with them until 1981. Since then he has been teaching, performing, composing and serving as a guest clinician around the country. He has been a composer-in-residence in numerous school systems in Wisconsin, California, Massachusetts, Ohio and Michigan. His more than 160 published compositions for chorus, band , brass chamber groups and jazz ensemble are available from six different publishers. He has also earned prestigious recognition: the Jazziz award (1998),the Renaissance Award (Lawrence University, 1999), the Distinguished Service Award from WSMA (Wisconsin State Music Association) and Wisconsin Artist Fellowship (both 2001), an honorary doctorate degree from Lawrence University and the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters Fellowship (both 2005), and in 2006, the Distinguished Service Award from IAJE  (International Association of Jazz Educators). As a composer, he has received more than 100 commissions for a variety of ensembles ranging from solo instrument to full orchestra with concert choir. His most recent full-length composition for vocalist and jazz pianist is a jazz opera in two acts entitled "Ava."

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