Jason will participate in his first service at St. John’s this Sunday, November 9.
Jason and his wife Edie Johnson met at Furman while studying music for their undergraduate degrees. Jason then earned his Masters in Music Composition at Florida State and moved to Indiana where Edie was working on her Masters in Organ Performance. Indiana was a fine place to be, according to Jason, but the geography of East Tennessee really appealed to them. It cut the distance from their families in half, and as Jason puts it, “After the flat cornfields of Indiana, this area was a nice change of scenery.”
What brought them to Tennessee? Edie was offered the position of Music Associate/Organist at Church Street United Methodist; they moved to Knoxville in January of 2010. Jason performed as a substitute organist for a variety of churches around town before becoming the Organist and Choir Master at St. James’. When the opportunity to come to St. John’s was presented, he enthusiastically accepted.
Jason has some wonderfully fresh ideas to help grow the Cathedral’s music ministry. Among the first will be the creation of a children’s music program. Jason is already working with Kerry Ruff on how to include the children in the liturgy. “It’s as much about faith formation as it is about music education. We want them to feel a sense of ownership over the Church’s tradition and faith.” When asked about what it means to serve at St. John’s, Jason replied, “Working at St. John's has the promise of an exceptional partnership focused on vibrant liturgical music. We have the opportunity to serve our parish family, the diocese, and the wider Knoxville community in exceptional offerings of music and worship. The chance to work with a congregation seeking excellence in liturgy is a dream come true, and I look forward to offering all that I have as a church musician to fulfilling the aspirations of St. John's Cathedral.”
With two young children at home, Jason and Edie are focused on family. Their son James is 7 years old and is the very proud big brother of Elizabeth, age 7 months. James will be participating in the children’s program at St. John’s and they look forward to having Elizabeth baptized here. The Overalls also have three cats, Desi, Thisbe, and Romeo. Jason enjoys cooking and spending a lot of quality time with his family.
Be sure to stop by the Choir room to meet and welcome Jason to the Parish family.