John Edmondson is known throughout the world for his more than 1,000 publications in the field of band and educational music. His contributions to the literature are accessible, enjoyable to perform and exciting to hear. Perhaps most importantly, his music has helped train the young musicians of today.
In addition to his achievements in educational music, he has written several hundred arrangements and compositions for various professional, military, college, and high school groups in the areas of marching band, concert band, jazz band, dance combos, and choral, as well as commercial television and radio jingles. This varied writing experience has brought a unique perspective to his educational writing.
A graduate of Sarasota (Florida) High School (1949), he received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida in 1955, majoring in music theory, with minors in English and sociology. After a two-year stint with the U.S. Army 8th and 9th Division Bands, he received his Master of Music in composition from the University of Kentucky in 1960, where he studied composition with Kenneth Wright and band scoring with R. Bernard Fitzgerald. He was the first recipient of the graduate degree from the university.
He taught public school music for 10 years in the Central Kentucky area, where he wrote extensively for his own students. During this same time, he freelanced as a writer for various university and high school marching bands, including seven years as Staff Arranger for the University of Kentucky Wildcat Marching Band. In addition to freelance composing and arranging, he was a professional trumpet player and pianist and developed his own educational publishing firm. It is now noted that this was the first site-license publisher, which allowed buyers to duplicate music for their own use – the forerunner of today’s Internet publishing.
Following his teaching career, he was appointed Alfred Reed's successor as Educational Editor with Hansen Publications in Miami Beach, Florida, and remained in that position ten years. He was responsible for hundreds of publications, including works for concert band, marching band, the Fun-Way Band Method (co-authored with Paul Yoder), instrumental solo books and other instructional materials. From there he went to Wisconsin as Director of Concert Band Publications for Jenson Publications, adding several new works to his growing catalog.
After freelancing for several publishers for seven years Mr. Edmondson and Anne McGinty formed Queenwood Publications in 1987 and were responsible for the creation, production, promotion, and international sales and distribution of Queenwood's catalog of concert band, jazz band and string orchestra music. They sold their company to the Neil A. Kjos Music Company in March, 2002, and are writing exclusively for them under the Queenwood/Kjos company name.
John Edmondson was honored in 1991 as the recipient of the University of Florida, Department of Fine Arts, Music Department Alumni Achievement Award. He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and is listed in the International Who's Who of Music.
His interests include playing jazz piano and the study of history, philosophy and politico-economic theory.