OTC instructor uses musical talents in class and out

OTC instructor uses musical talents in class and out

Monday, July 22, 2013

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When Jeff Johnson performs with his group Sunset to Burns, he combines his teaching skills as a member of the OTC faculty with his homegrown musical skills.

The result is a unique blend of bluegrass folk music that has found a home in the Ozarks.

Johnson, who teaches audio engineering in the Electronic Media Production department at OTC, plays bass fiddle in the group that has been making the rounds in the Ozarks playing at various nightspots and private parties.

Johnson plays other instruments, including guitar and saxophone, and as a result, he can bring those talents to the classroom and his students where they learn the latest in audio recording technology.

"Being able to play a lot of instruments means I can track the instruments myself without bringing in a musician for each instrument. Students can see the new way things are done at concerts and other venues through my experience," said Johnson, who has been teaching full-time at OTC for four years.

Having the summer off from teaching, Johnson and the group have been able to play a lot. Lately, the group has been playing events to raise money at www.kickstarter.com to pay for production of its first hard-copy EP. The money will cover the cost of producing and printing the album that will feature all original music.

Johnson, 36, is a Hillcrest High School graduate who played saxophone and drums in in the school's marching band and jazz band.

It was a friend, who played banjo, who talked Johnson into playing bass with him and his music career resumed.

Johnson also has a background in videography and video production having worked for local television stations and the Springfield Cardinals.

But music is his passion and he wants to continue playing and teaching.

"Iíd like to pursue it as much as I can. I love what I do at OTC and what I do musically helps me in the classroom," he said. "I think things just as they are. I donít want to have to choose between OTC and music."