John graduated from Manhattan High School (KS). He received a bachelor of music education and master’s of music from Northwestern University (IL) and a doctorate of musical arts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His major studying was with John Paynter, Bernard Rubenstein, and Crawford Gates.
He taught at Northern Illinois University, Wichita State University, Kent State University, the University of Arizona, and Indiana State University. At ISU he was director of bands, professor of music, and coordinator of the wind/percussion division for 21 years, retiring in 2010 professor emeritus.
His bands performed at numerous state, regional, and national MENC conferences. His wind ensemble toured Tajimi, Japan, in 2001 as a cultural exchange with Terre Haute’s sister city. Locally, he conducted the TH Youth Orchestra for a few years in early 1990’s, and guest conducted with the TH Symphony, the TH Community Band, and the Brazil (IN) Community Band. He established a professional wind orchestra “Philharmonia a Vent” which performed and recorded CDs on the “Elf” label in cooperation with Frederick Fennell and Elizabeth Ludwig Fennell.
During the 2006-07 academic year, he was visiting professor and the first conductor of the Conservatory Winds at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, National University of Singapore.
He was a conductor/clinician throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.
He conducted the Philharmonic Winds of Singapore, the Central Conservatory of Beijing, and Guangzhou Conservatory China, military band of the PLA in Beijing, China, Osaka Philharmonic Winds, Japan, Taiwan wind ensemble, and Taiwan military band.
He conducted the United States Army Band of Washington, DC, (Pershing’s Own) twice, the United States Army Field Band, and conducted/lectured three times at the Royal Northern College of Music at Manchester in the United Kingdom, and at three WASBE International Conferences.
He recorded seven CDs to high acclaim and arranged or composed hundreds of compositions for bands that are still widely played today.
He was a member of the American Bandmasters Assoc., Indiana Bandmasters Assoc, MENC/IMEA, College Band Directors National Assoc., National Band Assoc., WASBE, Phi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma and Phi Beta Mu. He served on the board of directors for the Conductors Guild.
John is survived by sister Martha Boyd and spouse Sandy Schermerhorn of Kansas City, MO; daughter Joleen Lundin and husband Carl of Minneapolis, MN; daughter Kimberly Henson and husband James of Mount Pleasant, SC; and son John A. Boyd and wife Melissa of Terre Haute, IN; and grandchildren Gabriel and Gideon Lundin, Brendan and Amber Henson, Alex (Cantrell) Boyd and fiancé Caedyn Abner, and Broderic and Carter Boyd.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: John P. Boyd Scholarship #23009 at ISU Foundation, 30 N. 5th St., Terre Haute, IN, 47809 or at www.indstate.edu/give; or to Northwestern University (School of Music designation) at Northwestern University Alumni Relations and Development, Attn: Gift Processing, 1201 Davis St., Evanston, IL; 60208 or www.wewill.northwestern.edu
Visitation will be held Wednesday, June 17, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at DeBaun Springhill Chapel, 85 E Springhill Drive, Terre Haute, Indiana. Per the family’s request, masks must be worn at visitation.
Following cremation he will be buried in the Boyd family plot in Blue Rapids, KS.