Katherine Johnson

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Katherine Johnson '06, MAT '07 -- Hitting the High Notes of Life

A strong love of music as a child motivated this talented grad to pursue and live her dream of choral conducting.

By Donna Parker


Katherine JohnsonKatie Johnson '06, '07 was halfway through high school when it hit her-"I should be a choral director! What an amazing job to sing and play piano all day."

Fast forward a few years--and a B.A. in music and a Master of Arts in Teaching--and Katie is loving her job as a conductor of Veritas, the men's choir, and the Early Music Ensemble at a Houston church.

"My parents instilled a love of music in me," says Katie. "As a kid, I was singing and dancing around the house. I have reaffirming moments daily when I know that I'm doing exactly what I should be doing."

In her spare time, Katie is earning her master's degree in music education and just finished her graduate recital at the University of Houston. Now, she and her husband, Colin Johnson ‘05, are looking at a two-year stint overseas. The inspiration arose during her sophomore year when the Trinity choir toured Germany. "It was so much fun that Colin and I would love to try living in Europe for awhile."

Katie retains a profound respect for the liberal arts curriculum at Trinity. Unlike UH, where everyone in her program was a music major, Trinity offered the opportunity to meet and interact with "amazing people from all walks of life" and spend time with people with different interests. "I think going to such a small school was great for me. Scott McPherson was my choral director. We became close and he is still my mentor. Even now, I visit him and his family. Carl Leafstedt was such a great teacher that I never, ever wanted to miss class. I took two of his classes in one semester. And, the smaller classes made it possible to do more things."

This spirited alumna, who calls herself "high energy," loves to have fun and never takes herself too seriously. She loves to read "anything" and frequently reads her husband's recommended fantasy fiction books. Spare time is spent walking her little Westie and trying out Houston's huge variety of restaurants. Down the road, she hopes to earn her doctorate and "maybe teach at a university just like Trinity."

You may contact Katie at katherine.t.mcgee@gmail.com.
Story posted: May 2013