Orin Johnson grew up in Tyler Minnesota, in the Southwestern part of the state. Tyler is in Lincoln County,
the only county in all of Minnesota without a stoplight. Yes, no stoplight. Unless you count the one at the
Gas Station Car Wash; most people don't.
His folks started him on organ and piano lessons when he was 6, with the probable intent of his playing in his hometown parish, St. Dyonesius in Tyler, Minnesota. He started playing there, for Stations of the Cross, when he was 11, and started playing for Masses shortly after that. He also played the trombone and sang through high school.
In college, Harvard University, he was active in the men's chorus, the Catholic Student Association Choir and several other shows and other musical tidbits. He began seriously writing music about this time, after taking a few classes and realizing he had at least some little ability in the area.
After 4 years at Harvard (AB in Music and Folklore and Mythology) and 2 at Radford (MA in Choral Conducting), Orin arrived at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Bellville, IL, near St. Louis, MO. He has been at the Shrine since 1998 as Coordinator of Music and Liturgy.
In December of 2000, he met Erin Hammond. To make a long story ridiculously short, they are now married! The big day was November 27, 2004. They reside in St. Louis with two dogs, Penny and Gracie.Beyond Erin and the Shrine, he also enjoys singing with the St. Louis Chamber Chorus and serving as their Assistant Conductor. He is a student at Aquinas Institute of Theology, and accompanies services at Shaare Emeth Temple in St. Louis. He has been Assistant Director for the St. Louis Archdiocesan Chorus; he's also sung with and rehearsed with the St. Louis Symphony Chorus.