Smithsonian Journeys Experts
Jon Bailey is well-known as a conductor, composer and teacher in the field of music, art and architecture. He brings excitement, enthusiasm and entertainment to any subject he touches. His presentations and demonstrations are packed full of musical examples that delight, challenge and clearly instill a love of music in his listeners.
Jon holds degrees in music from Northwestern, UC Berkeley, MDiv. from Drew University, and a doctorate from Stanford University. He was dean and professor of music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music prior to teaching at the Yale School of Music where he conducted the Yale Concert Choir, the New Haven Chorale and taught courses in the history of music. Currently Jon is professor emeritus at Pomona College in Claremont, California where for 10 years he was chair of the Music Department and conducted the College’s choral ensembles. Twice he won the coveted ‘outstanding teacher of the year’ award determined by the student body. He currently teaches two courses each year in such subjects as musical theater, and the history of music -- his courses always filled with cross-cultural experiences of art and architecture. Jon was the acclaimed conductor of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles for thirteen years, has been a program consultant for National Public Radio, and Arts Commissioner with the City of West Hollywood, California. A recipient of two Fulbright research grants, he has traveled and studied in Europe and Australia. He has lectured at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and is currently teaching at the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning at the University of San Francisco.