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C. William Johnson papers

 Collection 0157-SCPA

Charles William Johnson (1927-2013), a music educator, served as the Band Director of the Oxon Hill Senior High School Band from 1952 to 1981. During his time as Band director, Johnson led the OHHS Band in performances at many prestigious national clinics and festivals, including the Mid-West National Band Clinic and the 1964 World’s Fair. In addition to serving as Band Director, Johnson was inducted into the American Bandmasters’ Association in 1964, an honor typically reserved for college and university conductors. The collection consists of materials from both Oxon Hill High School and Johnson’s involvement with ABA, including correspondence, programs, photographs, clippings, awards, recordings, and other ephemera, as well as personal correspondence and items from the memorial held for Johnson following his death in 2013.


  • 1950-2013
  • Majority of material found within 1950-1981

Use and Access to Collection

There are no restricted files in this collection.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please make an appointment with the curator: Tel: 301.405.9220, Email:


3.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The C. William Johnson papers covers the period from 1950 to 2013; the bulk of materials date from 1950 to 1981. The bulk of the collection is related to Johnson’s time as Band Director of the Oxon Hill High School Band, and includes correspondence, programs, photographs, clippings, awards, and recordings. Also included in the collection are correspondence, programs, and an induction certificate from the American Bandmasters Association, as well as photographs and personal items from Johnson’s memorial service following his death in 2013.


Charles William Johnson (1927-2013) was the Band Director of the Oxon Hill Senior High School Band from 1952 until his retirement in 1981. Born in Powhatan Point, Ohio in 1927, Johnson was raised in Quaker City, Ohio and graduated from Quaker City High School in 1945. During World War II he served in the Navy as Seaman First Class sonar specialist, and later graduated in 1951 with a degree in music education from what is now know as Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. Following graduation he taught band, chorus, and English at Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, VA.

In 1952, Johnson was appointed band director of the Oxon Hill Senior High School Band in Prince George's County, Maryland. Under Johnson's leadership, the band quickly became one of the top programs in the region. In 1958, he hosted the first band festival in Prince George's County, and two years later he founded and served as the first president of the Maryland Band Directors' Association. As Band Director, C. William Johnson led the school in performances at prominent national clinics and festivals, including the 1962 Mid-West National Band Clinic in Chicago, Illinois and the 1964 World's Fair held in New York.

In 1964 Johnson was elected into the American Bandmasters' Association, from which he would later resign in 2010. He served as Band Director at Oxon Hill High School until his retirement in 1981, and his former students organized an Alumni Band Association and held reunions in his honor in 2000, 2002, and 2004 to celebrate the contribution he had made.

C. William Johnson married Nancy Faye Pyles on August 17, 1957, and had three children, Susan Johnson Barbour, David Johnson, and Dennis William Johnson. Diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, Johnson passed away on March 27, 2013 in League City, Texas.


This collection is organized into four series.

  1. Oxon Hill High School
  2. American Bandmasters Association
  3. Personal
  4. Scores

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Gift of C. William Johnson, received in 2011. Additional materials were donated in 2013 by Alumni of the Oxon Hill High School Band.

Related Material

American Bandmasters Association records, Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland Libraries. ((finding aid)

C. William Johnson papers
Nicole Horstman
July 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States