John Russell

Far South Representative

Phone: (917) 686-0110


JRussell_Headshot_Color_LargeDr. John Russell is the Director of Choral Activities at California State University, San Bernardino and the Music Director of the San Diego Master Chorale. At CSUSB he conducts the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir, teaches applied voice, choral methods, choral conducting, choral literature and conducts the opera. As Music Director of the SDMC, Dr. Russell conducts and coordinates all artistic activities of the chorale, which include preparing the chorus for multiple performances with Maestro Jahja Ling and the San Diego Symphony. In addition, he is the Music Director for the newly formed San Diego Pro Arte Voices. During the summer he serves on the conducting faculty at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey and the San Diego Summer Choral Festival.

Dr. Russell is also frequently in demand as a tenor soloist and was recently noted for his “heart-melting legato”. He is a current member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the San Diego Pro Arte Voices and the South Coast Chamber Choir. Dr. Russell’s recent solo performances include Haydn’s Paukenmesse with the San Diego Symphony, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Lisbon Summer Choral Festival Chorus and Orchestra in Lisbon, Portugal, and Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor Horn and Strings with the San Diego State Symphony Orchestra. He recently made his Walt Disney Concert Hall debut as the tenor soloist for Handel’s Messiah with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and was tenor soloist with the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus performing Ode to Common Things by Cary Ratcliff.

Dr. Russell was previously the Director of Choral Activities at Albion College in Albion, Michigan and has held similar positions at Los Angeles City College, Long Beach City College, Cypress College and the San Diego Children’s Choir. Prior to his work in California, Dr. Russell was the principal choral conductor at the LaGuardia School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (the Fame School) in New York City. At LaGuardia he was the assistant chairperson of the Music Department, conductor of the symphonic chorus and voice instructor for the school’s advanced vocalists. While in New York he conducted in over twenty performances with the world-renowned Orchestra of St. Luke’s, served as a clinician for the New York Philharmonic’s Education Department, and was a guest conductor with New York City National Chorale.

Dr. Russell is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan and is a graduate of Western Michigan University and Columbia University. He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Music from the University of Southern California. His primary conducting mentors are Craig Arnold, Joe Miller and Jo-Michael Scheibe and he has studied voice with William Appel, Curt Peterson, Jeanne Goffi-Fynn and Gary Glaze. He currently resides in San Bernardino and San Diego with his wife, Jill and son, Parker.