In his own words, Stephen E. Johnson says: "I wrote 'A Parting Blessing' in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the death of my dad. ( I was 12 years old when he died.) My family was helping Mom build a new house and move out of the home where I had grown up. It brought back many memories for us and brought us closer together. It also caused many unresolved feelings to resurface in me. It was during this time of transition for my family that I wrote this piece. I don't think I knew it then, but I now realize that the composition, 'A Parting Blessing,' was a healing experience for me. It was the final step in a 15-year journey toward truly accepting my dad's death."
"Music is the gift I have been given to give me purpose in life. It has literally lead me from church to church as organist, intern, then Music Director and now Liturgy/Music Director. Through music I have been lead to a vocation in church ministry that benefits others and that has given me not just happiness, but true joy. I look forward to many more years of this journeying."
Born (1968) and raised in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, Stephen E. Johnson, had an early interest in music from young childhood, playing the hymns heard in church by ear on the family piano. Playing in the school bands, being in choirs, summer musicals and taking private music lessons all prepared him for serious musical study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He sang in the choir under the direction of Robert Fountain for five of his six years of college and was also part of the Early Music Ensemble as well. It was because of these experiences, and with the influence of friends, that he finally followed his heart and became a music major during his Junior year majoring in Voice and Music Education. Certified to teach General Music K-12 and Choral Music (6-12), Stephen has taught in schools in the Madison area. He has also served music positions in churches of Mt. Horeb, Madison, and DeForest, Wisconsin. He is now full-time Director of Liturgy/Music at St. John Vianney Church, Janesville, Wisconsin.