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Cynthia Johnston Turner

Athens, GA      

Cynthia Johnston Turner is Director of Bands, Professor of Music, and Artistic Director of Rote Hund Muzik at the Hodgson School of Music, University of Georgia. Turner conducts the Hodgson Wind Ensemble, leads the MM and DMA programs in conducting, and oversees the entire band program including the 430-member Redcoat Marching Band. She is “VIP Educational Clinician” with Conn-Selmer.

Before her appointment at the Hodgson School at the University of Georgia, Cynthia was Director of Wind Ensembles at Cornell University. 

At the Eastman School of Music Cynthia was the recipient of the prestigious teaching award in conducting. She received the National Leadership in Education Award (Canada), the Excellence in Education Award (Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation), and the Marion Drysdale Leadership Award (also from OSSTF). She is also the recipient of the Donald A. Reick Memorial Award for research with wearable technologies and music pedagogy, and the American Prize for innovative programming with wind bands.

Cynthia has commissioned numerous new works for wind band, contemporary music ensembles, and orchestra, and she continues to actively promote commissions by today’s leading and emerging composers around the world. Under her direction, the Cornell Wind Ensemble was invited to perform at the College Band Directors National Association’s Eastern Division Conference in 2007 and 2012, and the Hodgson Wind Ensemble performed at CBDNA National in Kansas City in 2017. In 2008, the Merrill Presidential Scholars at Cornell recognized Cynthia as an outstanding educator, and in 2009, she was awarded the Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellowship. Her performances have been praised by such composers as Steven Stucky, William Kraft, Steven Bryant, Marc Mellits, Nancy Galbraith, Melinda Wagner, Peter Lane, Eddie Mora Bermudez, Dana Wilson, Roberto Sierra, and Karel Husa.

Among other recent engagements, Cynthia has guest conducted the Syracuse Symphony (“Symphoria”), the National Youth Band of Canada, the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the National Band of Costa Rica, the National Orchestra of Heredia, and numerous state honor bands. Cynthia has been invited to present her research with teaching and technology, innovative rehearsal techniques, and service-learning and music performance at numerous conferences nationally and internationally. She is published in numerous journals and has recorded CDs with the Innova and Albany labels.

Cynthia has served as a board member with WASBE and is an active member of CDBNA, Conductor’s Guild, College Music Society, Humanities Education and Research Association, the National Association for Music Education, and National Band Association. UGA Bands will host the National CBDNA conference in 2021.

Articles by Cynthia Johnston Turner:

NewMusicBox January 3 2019 | By Cynthia Johnston Turner
Charlottesville and Citizen Artistry

It all started with a conversation. What could we possibly do as teachers and as artists to make things better? We wanted to do something more profound, more long-lasting and...

NewMusicBox December 20 2018 | By Cynthia Johnston Turner
Crowdsourcing Rehearsals—Part Two (the good part)

Here are some practical ideas to experiment with to be more inclusive and more student-focused during rehearsals with student ensembles. Disclaimer: You probably shouldn’t (well, just don’t) try all of...

NewMusicBox December 13 2018 | By Cynthia Johnston Turner
Crowdsourcing Rehearsals

I’m convinced that the majority of conductors believe that simply because a student is in his/her ensemble playing an instrument, or singing, they are "engaged." More and more, I’m convinced...

NewMusicBox December 6 2018 | By Cynthia Johnston Turner
It’s Not What We Do, It’s How We Do It: Evolving the Concert Experience

It’s time that we start thinking more about a pretty important stakeholder in what we do, our audience. Just about everything we do, especially as teachers/conductors, is driven by the...