JCSO Music Director and Conductor, J. Wayne Baughman studied choral and orchestral conducting, earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in music education from the University of Alabama where his principal teachers were Kenneth Neilsen and Emil Raab. Maestro Baughman continued advanced studies in conducting at the University of Michigan with Maynard Klein, Thomas Hilbish and Elizabeth A.H. Green who became his mentor and great source of encouragement.
Upon his arrival in Atlanta in 1974 Maestro Baughman immediately became involved with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Choruses and for twenty-five years was a frequent vocal soloist, chorus member and rehearsal conductor under the guidance of the late Robert Shaw. Well known for his oratorio performances as a bass soloist, he collaborated with Maestro Shaw on numerous performance projects including the Mozart REQUIEM MASS, J.S. Bach’s ST. JOHN PASSION, and Handel’s MESSIAH. In 1990, as bass soloist, Maestro Baughman shared the honor of a Grammy Award for the Telarc recording of BELSHAZZAR’S FEAST (Walton) and CHICHESTER PSALMS (Bernstein) with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Maestro Baughman has held conducting positions at the State University of New York at Cortland and Brevard Music Center. He also served as music director at Peachtree Christian Church in Atlanta for nine years where his performances of major choral-orchestral works received critical acclaim.
In the mid 1990’s the vision of a professional orchestra in the Johns Creek community began to develop in Maestro Baughman’s mind. Having worked in the area as a professional musician since 1988 he witnessed the growth of the community and realized its nearly unlimited potential as a center of artistic activity. That vision was turned into a plan and the plan into the reality that is now the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to his duties as JCSO Music Director and Conductor, Maestro Baughman also serves as Music Director at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Johns Creek and past Principal Conductor of the Archdiocesan Festival Choir of Atlanta.