VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, February 09, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Gayle Harrison Johnson with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Ms. Johnson celebrates many years' experience in her professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes she has accrued in her field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Leading a successful, diverse career for more than 40 years, Ms. Johnson is best known for her expertise as a musician and director. Ms. Johnson studied at Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio, receiving both Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts in 1978. A liberal arts school of renown founded in 1833, Oberlin is also the second oldest conservatory in the United States. Ms. Johnson initially focused on piano but during a January exploratory course, she began to learn the harpsichord. She fell in love with it and changed her major.
After college, she immediately began performing in Seattle in 1978 as well as working as an adjunct faculty member at Seattle Pacific University between 1979 and 1985. Most notably during her seven years in Seattle, Ms. Johnson founded and directed the baroque music ensemble Capriole in 1979. Showcasing her expertise in music history as well as performance, each of Capriole's concerts focused on a limited time within one country, providing audiences a visceral, immersive insight into the culture of a slice of history. After seven years in Seat-tle, she devoted another eighteen years to the ensemble's productions, taking Capriole to Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1986 and then to Williamsburg, Virginia in 1987. During that time the ensemble became internationally acclaimed as she worked with some of the world's most accomplished baroque music performers including Max van Egmond, Derek Lee Ragin and Claron McFadden as well as baroque dancers Paige Whitley-Bauguess and Thomas Baird.
Beginning in 1989 she led Capriole as Ensemble-in-Residence at the College of William and Mary for three years and then at Old Dominion University for nine years. Her portfolio of creative works includes directing performances of baroque operas each year, such as Rameau's Les Indes Galantes in 1994, Purcell's The Fairy Queen in 1999, and Monteverdi's Il Combattimendo di Tancredi e Clorinda in 2000, among others. In honor of her work, in 2000 Capriole received a Virginia Governor's Award for the Arts Certificate of Recognition.
Some of Ms. Johnson's other noteworthy musical achievements include being the Artistic Director of the first Colonial Williamsburg Baroque Music Festival in 1995, bringing together America's finest performers of baroque music for a packed weekend of chamber music concerts in the historic rooms of The Wren Building at the College of William and Mary. In 1988 she founded and led the Williamsburg Early Music Guild which organized concerts by Williamsburg's talented baroque musicians. In 1998 she founded and directed The Williamsburg Boy Choir which performed in J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion with the Smithsonian Chamber Players in 2000.
After retiring from her impressive musical career, Ms. Johnson devoted her energies to her passion for envi-ronmental issues. In 2008 she created EcoBuilders of Virginia, a construction company focused on providing cutting edge energy efficiency. To support her second career, Ms. Johnson became a Class A Contractor and in 2009 was certified as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional, an internationally recognized green building certification. In 2010 she also became a Certified Green Professional with the National Association of Home Builders. In 2013 Ms. Johnson transformed her own home into the first net zero energy home in Virginia Beach. In 2016 it was among the first to be certified by Home Innovation at the highest Emerald level of the National Green Building Standard ICC 700-2012. She has opened its doors for the National Solar Homes Tour every year since 2013, in order to showcase its many energy efficiencies and inspire others.
Well-known in her community for her activism, Ms. Johnson created Neighbors for a Safer Beach in 2016 to pioneer ways to educate her fellow dog owners about best practices to keep both dogs and people safer on the beach. More recently, she was her district's Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates in 2019.
Among her professional memberships, Ms. Johnson is on the local board chapter of the Sierra Club and is a member of many environmental groups including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Ms. Johnson was chosen to be a Newberry Library Fellow in Chicago in 1977. A native Virginian, she was accepted as a member of the Jamestowne Society in 2016 after her genealogical research traced back to ancestors arriving during the first decades of the first permanent English colony in America. In 2017 and 2018, her family's home that she man-ages as a vacation rental received the Virginia Green Travel Star Award. A celebrated Marquis listee, she has been cited in the third edition of Who's Who in Entertainment, the 24th and 25th editions of Who's Who in the South and Southwest, the 13th edition of Who's Who in the World, and the 20th and 25th editions of Who's Who of American Women.
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