Stuart Johnson was born in Staffordshire, the county for which he was Director of Music until his retirement in 1997. After experience as a player in brass bands, he served in the band of the King's Dragoon Guards before training as a teacher and working in schools. Following a period as a lecturer at Northumberland College of Education he became Music Adviser to the Metropolitan District of Sandwell prior to his appointment to Staffordshire. He has long experience as a conductor, particularly in the choral and band fields and also wide experience as an adjudicator and examiner.
He has written prolifically for bands and orchestras and his didactic publications are used in many countries. He has over eighty published compositions and arrangements, many of which have been broadcast on radio or television. His commissioned works include the cantata "David and Goliath" which was first performed at the Royal Festival Hall, "Oregon Overture" for wind orchestra, "Landscapes", Sinfonietta No 2, "Wessex Dances" and "A Castle Suite. Stuart Johnson has recently completed several commissions, funded by National Lottery grants, for bands in Cumbria, the Isle of Wight, and Staffordshire.
"Requiem" for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra, was premiered successfully in front of a capacity audience in Lichfield Cathedral in March 1997, and received its first London performance at St. John's Smith Square in March 1998. This prestigious venue also saw the first performance of "Songs and Sonnets" for unaccompanied mixed choir in2001.
Stuart Johnson has written extensively for the theatre, his music for the production of "Anna of the Five Towns" was used for both the radio and television adaptations His music ranges in style from the evocative and demanding "Sinfonietta for Wind Orchestra", which has received many performances since its premiere in the Royal Festival Hall, including a broadcast by the Band of the Scots Guards, to his ubiquitous "Bandstand Boogie" which has set feet tapping all over the world. Apart from the latter his most performed work is probably "Circus Suite" which was the British Youth Band Championship test piece in 1980. "Northumbrian Suite" and "Landscapes" have also been used as National Brass Band Championship test pieces. "The Flint Knappers" commissioned as a test piece for the 1998 East Anglian Band Festival was selected as a test piece for the 1999 Australian Championships.