Dakota Sky Foundation
Executive Director

John Pennington is an educator, composer, performer, author, producer and conductor. Dr. Pennington is currently a Professor of Music at Augustana University and the Executive Director of the Dakota Sky Foundation in Sioux Falls South Dakota. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Arizona, and Arizona State. As an orchestral performer, Dr. Pennington is currently the Principal Percussionist and Associate Principal Timpanist and with the South Dakota Symphony and Principal Timpanist with the Music in the Mountains Summer Music Festival Orchestra in Durango, Colorado. Dr. Pennington is currently a Cultural Envoy for the State Department in the Middle East (most recently Lebanon) where he presents concerts, clinics and masterclasses. With performances on four continents and over twenty-five states he has performed on A Prairie Home Companion and been a featured performer at six Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. With over thirty recordings to date he has recorded for Ensemble 21, Summit, Cristo, OCP, Tresona, and Equilibrium labels. Recent recording releases include: New Moon (Mallet Keyboard Ensemble-2019), Gitanjali, for Voice, American Gamelan, Harmonium, and Guitar (composed & produced-2014), Song of God Among Us, Advent Music for Choir, Guitar and Percussion (percussion-2016-17), Brasileirinho, South American Music for Guitar and Percussion (co-produced composed and arranged-2010), Steps (co-produced composed and arranged-2008), Music for Trumpet and Percussion with Stephen Dunn, Lou Harrison, American Gamelan (produced, conducted and performed 2007), Compassionate and Wise (co-produced, composed and performed-2006-Equilibrium Press). Active as a composer and arranger he has over forty compositions for soloist, duo, chamber, musical/theatrical, and films and dozens of arrangements for numerous instrumental and vocal combinations. Extensive studies in world music have included experience in African, Middle Eastern, Indonesian, Cuban and the South Indian Karnatak tradition. Currently, Dr. Pennington continues his study and teaching of the Northern Hindustani tradition of music in North India and the Javanese and Balinese traditions of Indonesia. Please visit JohnCharlesPennington.com for more information.