Johnny Woody

Johnny Woody's Biography

Johnny Woody spent four years at the University Of Kansas where he played in between six to seven ensembles which included, starting his second semester freshman year, the faculty woodwind quintet. That was where he really learned to play horn. The best piece of advice Johnny ever received was from the bassoon professor who said, "If you want to be a professional horn player, 'Don't miss.'" If Johnny ever was known for anything in the horn world, it was that he rarely missed notes.

After four years at the University of Kansas, he auditioned and was accepted into the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., as an extra. One of the reasons why Johnny was accepted was that the microphone did not scare him. For the first eleven years, he was the third horn player until the section leader retired. For the next thirteen years, Johnny was the principle horn of the Air Force Band under Col. Arnald D. Gabriel. He also became the horn player for the old radio show, The Serenade in Blue, for ten years.

While in the United States Air Force Band, Johnny would participate in about 10 music conventions a year for ten years. That is where he met Ed Garbett of Yamaha. Garbett explained that Yamaha had a new prototype horn under evaluation, and asked if Johnny would be interested in evaluating the prototype. He did, and was blown away at how well the horn played. He became an unofficial artist for Yamaha playing the YHR-766D. At the time, The Air Force would not allow its members to represent or endorse any company.

When Col. Gabriel retired from the United States Air Force Band, Johnny also retired. He then became the horn teacher at Southwest Missouri State University and an Artist and Consultant for Yamaha, where he conducted clinics and master classes in fourteen to fifteen conventions a year. After three years of travelling to various conventions, Yamaha made him an offer he could not refuse and he moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. For five years, Johnny was the Brass Product Specialist, and then became a District Manager for Yamaha. Johnny retired in 1999.

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Johnny Woody

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