Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner, Guest Conductor

The Wellington Wind Symphony Board of Directors is very pleased to announce that Dr. Cynthia
Johnston Turner will be leading the Winds for the remainder of the 2023-2024 Season!

Dr. Johnston Turner’s Biography

Odds were against Cynthia Johnston Turner becoming a musician let alone a professor
of music and conducting in higher education. Born in a small town in Ontario, Canada,
no one in her family played an instrument or sang, although there were rumors that her
great paternal grandfather was an accomplished mandolinist. Cynthia asked for a piano
for Christmas when she was 8 years old, and because it was all her parents could
afford, she received a toy electric keyboard from which she was pretty much
inseparable until she started the ukulele in grade school. When she picked up the
clarinet and saxophone in middle school, a love affair and a career were born. 
The first in her family to attend university, Cynthia received her Bachelor of Music and
Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University, a Master of Education at the University
of Victoria, and a Doctor of Musical Arts (Conducting) from the Eastman School of
Music. She has received numerous teaching, research, and leadership awards in
Canada and the United States.


Cynthia was appointed Dean—Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo,
Ontario July 1, 2021. She leads a school of approximately 400 undergraduate and
graduate music majors with programs in traditional conservatory programming coupled
with innovative programs such as the Bachelors, Masters, and PhD in Community
Music, and Artist Diplomas in Opera Performance, Chamber Music, and the soon to be
launched, Master of Music in Collaboration, Creation and Curation (MMC3). She also
oversees the Laurier Academy of Music and the Arts, a community-based school
serving hundreds of children and their families in the region.


Before her appointment as Dean, Cynthia was Director of Bands, Professor of Music,
and Artistic Director of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble at the Hodgson School of
Music, University of Georgia where she conducted the Hodgson Wind Ensemble, led
the Master and Doctoral programs in conducting, provided strategic leadership in
diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives as well as innovative curriculum, and oversaw
the entire band program including the 400+ member Redcoat Marching Band. The
Hodgson Wind Ensemble performed at the College Band Directors National Association
National Convention in 2017. Prior to UGA, Cynthia was Director of Wind Ensembles at
Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She was recently appointed as Artistic Director
and Conductor of Festival Winds of “Summer Music at Saugeen Shores.”


Cynthia has guest conducted bands, new music ensembles, and orchestras
professionally, at several universities and conservatories, and state honor bands in the
United States and abroad. She continues to actively promote commissions by today’s
leading and emerging composers around the world with a focus on underrepresented
voices. She has been invited to present her research with teaching and technology,
innovative rehearsal techniques, and service-learning and music performance at
numerous conferences nationally and internationally. She is published in such journals
as Interdisciplinary Humanities, International Journal of the Humanities, Music
Educators Journal, National Association for Music Education “Teaching
Music,” NewMusicUSA.org, Journal of the World Association of Bands and Ensembles,
Fanfare Magazine, and Canadian Winds, and has recorded CDs with the Innova and
Albany labels. 


Cynthia has served as a board member with the World Association of Symphonic Bands
and Ensembles (WASBE) and is an active member of College Band Directors National
Association (CBDNA), Conductor’s Guild, College Music Society, Humanities Education
and Research Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the
American Bandmasters Association. She currently serves on the board of the Western
International Band Clinic (WIBC) and is faculty at WIBC University. She serves on the
advisory boards of the Institute for Composer Diversity (composerdiversity.com), Lift
Music Fund (liftmusicfund.org), and United Sound Music (unitedsoundmusic.org). She is
an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and a National Arts Associate member of
Sigma Alpha Iota. Cynthia is a sponsored clinician with Conn-Selmer.