From a young age, TBC organist Brent Johnson was amazed by the organ. Brent became interested in the organ as a child growing up in his Methodist church. The organist at church told Brent, “When your legs get long enough, I’ll teach you to play the organ.” Throughout his growing up years, Brent would go to the organ to measure to see if his legs were long enough. Once Brent began organ lessons at the age of 14, he played the organ for youth services at church. During his senior year of high school Brent was asked to play the offertory for worship and several Southern Methodist University (SMU) professors were in attendance. Hearing Brent’s talent at the organ, they began recruiting him to attend SMU to study organ.
Brent’s interest in the organ goes beyond playing the instrument. He is also interested in the “stuff behind the walls.” Brent spent several years working as an organ builder. Now, he services several organs in St. Louis, including Third’s organ.
Brent officially began his tenure as Third’s organist in February 2005. Faith is embedded in Brent’s passion for playing the organ. He says that playing the organ here at Third is an expression of his faith. “When playing in a church service, it’s not just music for music’s sake. Every piece has a purpose. I get to be a part of that. Music is bigger than itself.”
Brent says that the organ at Third is a “fantastic tool” for conveying the many expressions of faith. Brent says, “My goal is to be the best I can be.”
Brent’s interest in music goes beyond playing the organ. As part of the Organ Media Foundation, Brent goes around the United States producing videos about various organs. These videos are a way to put organ music on the internet, exposing the public to a wide variety of instruments. Additionally, he produces a weekly radio show called “The King of Instruments” for the radio station Classic 107.