Angela, like most students who grew up in the 1970’s and 80’s, was taught to play the recorder flute in 4th grade. By 5th grade, students had the option at Vernon Elementary School to take either choir or band. Angela chose band.
Her teacher, Mrs. Golden passed around the flute’s mouthpiece to see who could blow it and get a good tone. Angela was one of the few to get a good sound and the only one to get a clear tone on the first try! Since playing the recorder flute was so similar with fingerings to the standard flute, Angela was able to skip beginning band and go right into intermediate band. In a short amount of time she was in the advanced band.
Angela continued to play flute in band up until her enrollment at Jefferson High School of Performing Arts. The phenomenal ‘Fame-like’ school (that was an old movie and television series about teenagers enrolled in a Performing Arts school) offered its student artists a plethora of creative and performing arts classes.
While attending Jefferson High School, Angela participated and performed with the concert band, wind ensemble, flute ensemble, woodwind ensemble, jazz ensemble and chamber group. Angela began to play professionally in her sophomore year and performed in various professional stage plays, such as “The Wiz”, “The Matchmaker” and “The Pirates of Penzance” with compensation. She also participated in the Solo-Ensemble Contest every year from grades five through twelve.
In the community, Angela played her flute and sang with Portland’s Youth Sound, a community gospel choir directed by Ken Berry. She also began teaching Sunday school at age fifteen at Albina Christian Life Center (where she continued to teach and serve for thirty years) and was a girl’s club counselor for more than ten years. During her senior year, Angela was band president, competed on the state level as a classical flute soloist and was a musician and vocal section leader in her church.
Angela continued her studies in music at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in Music Therapy. As a fine arts student, Angela completed many courses that qualify her for her work as PACKY Academy, such as ear and voice training, concert band and marching band to name a few. Angela also started and led a flute ensemble while attending Howard University.
During the 2013-14 school year, Angela played with Concordia University’s wind ensemble and sang in the concert choir.
Why so much about Angela’s musical background? Because Angela’s strong musical interests had a huge impact in helping her to excel academically. Angela’s confidence grew with each performance, right along with her academic skills. In her junior and senior years at Jefferson High School, she went from standard English Classes to Advanced Placement Classes and participated in several leadership clubs.
Angela hopes that PACKY Academy will also be an inspiration to the students, families and communities that it serves and strongly believes that as the children develop artistically, they will also develop and grow academically.
Angela has an extensive background working with children and families and in the past twenty plus years, she has worked as an entrepreneur, personal development specialist, social worker and teacher for Portland Public Schools, child care owner, director, trainer and teacher and a coordinator for the Child Care Improvement Project.
Finally, she is the wife of Alvin Johnson for nearly twenty eight years, the mother of three beautiful adult children and two loving grandsons.
Together, Alvin and Angela have fostered many children in their home over the years while also raising their own children. She also shares her home and business space with two fun miniature poodles and enjoys bike rides around Portland with her family.