John Clinton recently retired as dean of the College of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Central Oklahoma. In 2014, he retired as conductor of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra, a position he held since 1992. He was Director of Fine Arts for the Norman (Oklahoma) Public Schools for thirty years. He has also served as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Center for Arts Education and the Oklahoma A+ Schools.
A graduate of East Central Oklahoma State University, Dr. Clinton earned his Master of Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. In 1991, he completed his Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of North Texas, with emphases in orchestral conducting, string pedagogy, and sociology.
Dr. Clinton has presented papers and in-service workshops at the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) in New Orleans and Kansas City, Texas Music Educators Association, The Midwest International Band & Orchestra Clinic, the University of Oklahoma
“Symposium ’95: The Sociology of Music Education: Theoretical Underpinnings and Practical Applications,” as well as presentations in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas, and Vancouver, British Columbia, on a variety of arts topics. He has conducted All-State and All- District orchestras in Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.
Dr. Clinton has received numerous professional honors, including the University of Oklahoma School of Music Distinguished Alumni Fellow, Oklahoma String Teacher of the Year, Governor’s Arts Award for Arts and Education, National Federation of State High School Associations Outstanding Music Educator, Oklahoma Music Educators Association “Administrator of the Year,” and the Distinguished Service Award from the Art Therapy Association of Oklahoma.
He currently serves on the board of directors for The Midwest International Band & Orchestra Clinic, Oklahoma Arts Institute, and Children’s Arts Network.