Ted Johnson Named Emeritus Music Director

It is with great joy and celebration that the Board would like to announce the creation of an “Emeritus” position here at the Harvard Unitarian Church. “Emeritus” is a word drawn from the latin Emerere, or “having fully earned.”

Since joining the Harvard UU Church in 2005, Ted Johnson has been our organist and music director. Prior to his time with us, he served at the Unitarian Church in Winchester for 13 years, as well as playing for several churches in California during his early career. Ted received undergraduate music training at the University of Redlands and California State University Fullerton, majoring in piano and organ performance and church music administration. He is a Colleague in the American Guild of Organists (AGO), serving in leadership roles with that organization across the country, from Orange County, to the Boston and Worcester Chapters.

Ted obtained a JD degree from Western State University in Fullerton, California, and was a practicing attorney in California before relocating to Massachusetts in 1991 and obtaining a Masters and Doctorate from Tufts University. He is currently on the faculty of the Heller School at Brandeis University where he teaches International Development and Dispute Resolution. He’s also a pilot, an advocate for civil rights, and a talented conversationalist.

Ted has spoken with particular affection about how he has revelled in the opportunity to bring people together year round to make music in our sanctuary, including choirs from other churches, musicians, and soloists. He singled out the particular joys of services and events around Christmas and of collaborating with other musicians for community concerts. During his time with us, Ted has led the choir, played the organ, conducted the Messiah, and filled our Sundays with music that made us laugh, sing, and cry. More than that, he has been a pillar of our community, a village elder full of wisdom, experience and generous spirit. We are filled with immense gratitude for all that Ted has done in his time with HUUC, and we look forward to continuing our relationship as the new role unfolds.

Ted’s transition to an emeritus role will be accompanied by other changes in music staffing for next year. Going forward, we can still expect to hear Ted’s organ, harpsichord, piano, maybe even accordion, although it will be less frequent than we are accustomed to.

Please join me in congratulating Ted in his new role as Emeritus Music Director for the Harvard UU Church!