Campbellsville University music student hopes to work with film scoring

April 18, 2011
For Immediate Release

By Christina Miller, office assistant

 Seth Johnson plays cello during a University  Orchestra concert. He has composed music  played by the orchestra. (Campbellsville  University Photo by Munkh-Amgalan Galsanjamts)
 Seth Johnson plays cello during a University
Orchestra concert. He has composed music
played by the orchestra. (Campbellsville
University Photo by Munkh-Amgalan Galsanjamts)

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.— “By listening to music, you can be transported to anywhere.”

“Who doesn’t hear the Harry Potter theme and not automatically think of Hogwarts (or want to be there)?” Seth Johnson, a Campbellsville University senior from Leitchfield, Ky., asked.

Johnson, a music composition and theory student at CU, began playing the cello at age 11. But he didn’t always play cello. “I actually started off playing the violin for a week, then got tired of it because I didn’t like holding my hand up,” Johnson said. “So, I switched to cello.”

The 2007 graduate of Grayson County High School wrote his first composition in his senior year of high school.

Johnson’s favorite style of music is movie soundtracks. His favorite movie soundtracks include The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the Village. “These soundtracks instantly put you into their respective worlds, but at the same time good music on their own.”

It was in Johnson’s sophomore year at Campbellsville University that his work, “The Legend of Sherwood Forest” based off of Robin Hood, was played in concert by Campbellsville University’s Orchestra, which later resulted in the production of a CD with the university orchestra, ensembles and soloists featuring music composed by Johnson.

Seven of the nine songs on the CD, titled Soli Deo Gloria, were composed, arranged and orchestrated by Johnson.

“It was sort of a surreal experience to see the final product and listen to music I wrote,” he said of the CD.

Johnson is writing “Superhero Symphony,” which he hopes to have the orchestra perform.

“One major part of being a composer is to have your own ‘sound,’ so that is what I am trying to create with [Superhero Symphony]. It’s fun to write exciting, thematic music.”

Johnson said all music is “interrelated and can be combined to create countless new sounds… I try to blend different aspects from different kinds of music and create something unique and new.”

He recently wrote a piece using melodies from the Catholic church and “fused it together with an Arabic-Middle Eastern flair.”

Johnson, who is scheduled to graduate this May, is looking into graduate school, but hopes to try film scoring in the future.

Dr. Jim Moore, professor of music theory and composition at CU, said, “Seth is an extraordinary musician who will go on to do amazing things. He has been the ideal student here at Campbellsville: bright, talented, independently motivated, yet modest and eager for guidance. His compositions have touched listeners deeply not only on our campus but throughout the state.”

Last summer he scored a documentary for “My Kentucky Home: Grayson County,” a KET series that looks at the history of various communities in Kentucky. He has been asked by the company, Marvo Entertainment Group, to work on more projects for the series as well as other opportunities that may arise.

Johnson is the son of Allen and Ranae Johnson of Leitchfield, Ky.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 63 undergraduate programs, 17 master’s degrees and five postgraduate areas. The website for complete information is

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