Jeri Lynne Johnson: Taking The Lead

    Female conductors are still trying to catch up to their male counterparts, and African American music directors are even more rare. That didn’t stop Jeri Lynne Johnson of pursuing her dream when she founded The Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra in 2008, right here in Philadelphia.
    Working with many of the best musicians in the country, from a culturally and racially diverse pool, Johnson has fostered a fresh approach to community engagement that other orchestras have looked to for inspiration.
    In 2010 Friday Arts had the opportunity to sit down with Johnson to discuss how music came into her life at a very early age, when she began studying piano and realized that wasn’t enough. She didn’t want to play an instrument and be just one part of it. Johnson said, “If I wanted to play the whole piece, I would have to control all of the elements.”
    Jeri Lynne Johnson is very much in control as she continues to share beautiful music with as many people as possible. She has appeared on numerous programs, including being named one of today’s leading young female conductors on the NBC Today Show, and has been featured in major publications around the world.

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal