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Name: McNeil Johnston
Skills: Arranger, Composer, Writer, MIDI & Print Transcription (Orchestration, Arranging, MIDI & Print Transcription, Recording.)
Address: Wilton, CT 06897, United States
Links: Website     E-mail
Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, McNeil Johnston has been a professional musician since the age of 16. Having won numerous competitions and scholarships as both pianist and violinist, 'Mac' decided very early on that he would be pursuing a career in music. He credits his teachers in these formative years with a large part of his success: master piano pedagogue Ernest Chang, famed violinist Dale Bechtel, music theorist Oliver Stone (no, not the film director!), choral arranger Gary Heidel and conductor Peter Mesrobian. He served as concertmaster of the Hawaii Youth Symphony for two years, earned a full scholarship to the San Francisco Conservatory in 1976, was accepted as a piano pupil of the late Irwin Freundlich, then chairman of the piano department at The Juilliard School, and was selected in a nation-wide competition to participate in the 1975 Congress Of Strings, an A.F.of M. sponsored eight-week program held at the University of Washington. He attended high school at The Punahou School in Honolulu and graduated in 1977.

McNeil attended the Mannes College of Music, New York, and earned his Bachelor of Music Degree with a major in Music Theory and Conducting in 1985. He then earned his Master of Music Degree there in 1988 as a Composition major. Also during these college years, Mac performed extensively as a professional violinist, pianist and jazz bassist. While at Mannes, McNeil studied Conducting with Carl Bamberger, Vladimir Kin and Sidney Harth; Piano and Music Pedagogy with Marie Powers; Schenkerian Analysis with Carl Schachter; and Music Theory and Composition with Robert Cuckson, Larry Laskowsky and David Loeb.

After receiving his Masters', Mac explored the real-world aspects of music and music production, forming a partnership with David Ruffo, noted producer/recording engineer. Together, they started Outland Productions, a full service audio production house. During this period, Mac scored countless corporate videos, produced a slew of radio commercials and composed a plethora of jingles for a wide variety of clients. Through this exposure to the 'music for media' world, Mac became thoroughly grounded in the current state of music technology as well as that of diverse musical styles. Always fascinated by the grandeur and subtlety of the full orchestra, Mac has been a rare commodity these days -- a composer who insists on writing his own orchestrations. He also insists on actually playing the instruments he writes for, wherever possible. He translates this conscientious love of texture, color and detail to the work he does for his orchestration clients. Presently, Mac resides in Wilton, Connecticut with his wife Lisa and daughters Nicole (age 5), and Lizette (age 3).



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