Randy Johnson has been a long-time Enid resident. He moved to Enid in 1974 when he was in the 4th grade and attended Hayes Elementary, Waller Junior High and Enid High School where he graduated in 1982. In 1981, at Enid High School, he realized he wanted to be a music teacher when he took his first trip to Europe as part of the Oklahoma ambassador musical group. He continued his education at Phillips University earning his degree in Music Education, then went to Southwestern Oklahoma State to obtain his master’s degree. He taught briefly in Cushing before returning to Enid in 1989.
Johnson has always worked hard and that allows him to maximize his many talents. Randy has been a bus driver and the announcer for football basketball and baseball games. He was a disc jockey for dances and other community events and even worked weekends driving a beer truck. He continues to serve as the choir director for Central Christian Church. Randy often used his “extracurricular” jobs to recruit students to choir. Randy also used each of these jobs to connect with students. His role as the athletic announcer connected him with athletes who would then become interested and active in choir and musical productions. He acknowledged that some schools have trouble getting athletes but it was a “cool” thing to do in Enid and “we always had a good track record of getting athletes to participate.”
Johnson’s son Matt returned 4 years ago to work with his father. Randy has taught for 35 years but claims the last 4 years have been the best because he has been able to teach with his son. He credits more recent success to Matt’s influence. He is “nose to the grindstone, always pushing forward”. Their two generational styles blend well. The two Johnsons oversee six choirs and work together utilizing each other’s gifts and strengths.
Randy’s professional accolades include Cushing High School Head Music Director, Central Christian Church Director of Music (August 1989 to present), Enid High Head Vocal Music Director, Northwest Oklahoma Director of Distinction, Pride of the Plainsmen Award, District Secondary Vocal Music Specialist and the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) Sweepstakes award. In addition to his professional accolades, his influence on future musicians is lasting. He has several students that have gone on to pursue professional music careers, obtained doctoral degrees and around 20 former students that have become choir directors.
The OSSAA Sweepstakes award is one of the high points of his career. He and Matt achieved the goal of having at least two groups get a “1” rating in both stage and sight-reading. Enid was one of only 10 winners statewide. The Johnsons, the only father-son director team in the state, had three groups achieve a “1” in stage and two in sight. “It was remarkable we were able to achieve it in such a crazy year,” Randy says. Matt’s technical knowledge proved to be vital when the choir had to go virtual during COVID 19. Matt had promised his father they would win the Sweepstakes before he retired. Mission accomplished!
Johnson has always had the support of his wife Jane and their children. Choir has always been a family endeavor. All four of his children, Matt, Michael, Mark and Sarah sang for him. Johnson will be retiring this year after 35 years in education. He is looking forward to watching Matt take things to the “next level.” He also hopes to have his other son Mark possibly come back as Matt’s assistant.