Author -- Columnist -- Speaker


At 43 years old, John Bingham began the transition from 240-pound coach potato to athlete. At age 53, this popular writer and speaker has become the Pied Piper of the second running boom. John is the prototypical Renaissance man. From motorcycle mechanic to graduate advisor, from freelance musician to marathon pace leader, John brings a relentless spirit for living into everything he does. His humorous insights bring hope and inspiration to legions of fans.


  • Ed.D., The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984
  • M.M., The George Washington University, Washington, DC, 1977
  • B.M. Ed., Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois, 1970


  • The Penguin Chronicles, a monthly column in the US, UK and Australia/New Zealand editions of Runner's World magazine. May 1996 - Present
  • Marathon Running for Mortals: A Mere Mortal's Guide to the Joy of Running or Walking a Full or Half Marathon; co-authored by Jenny Hadfield, Pan MacMillin UK, February 2004
  • Marathoning for Mortals: A Regular Person's Guide to the Joy of Running or Walking a Full or Half Marathon; co-authored by Jenny Hadfield, Rodale, May 2003
  • No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running, Rodale, April 2002
  • The Courage to Start: A Guide to Running for Your Life, Simon & Schuster, April 1999
  • The Penguin Brigade Training Log 2nd Edition, co-authored by Jenny Hadfield, Breakaway Books, May 2003

Major Event Appearances

  • Boston Marathon
  • Chicago Marathon
  • Flora London Marathon, 1997-2004
  • Rock and Roll Arizona
  • Honolulu Marathon
  • San Francisco Marathon
  • Columbus Marathon, Columbus, OH
  • Road Runner Akron Marathon
  • White Rock Marathon, Dallas, TX
  • Cowtown Marathon, Ft. Worth, TX
  • Myrtle Beach Marathon
  • Marine Corps Marathon
  • New York City Marathon
  • Walt Disney World Marathon
  • Suzuki Rock 'N Roll Marathon
  • Country Music Marathon
  • Rock and Roll 1/2-Marathon
  • Indi Mini 500 1/2-Marathon
  • Motorola Marathon
  • Vermont City Marathon
  • Florence, Italy, Marathon
  • Wineglass Marathon
  • The Last Marathon, Antarctica
  • Bloomsday Festival, Spokane, WA
  • Athens Marathon
  • Summer Tours* 1997 Big Red Tour, 8 weeks
  • 1998 Firebird Tour, 12 weeks
  • 1999 Family Truckster Tour, 21 weeks
  • 2000 Millenium Tour, 20 weeks
  • 2001 Penguin Odyssey Tour, 20 weeks
  • 2002 No Need for Speed Tour

Positions held in Colleges and Universities

  • Associate Professor, Music Education, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Chair, Department of Music, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Associate Dean, Conservatory of Music, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
  • Assistant Director, School of Music, and Director of Music Admissions, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Director of Marching Band, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Low Brass, Howard University, Wash., DC
  • Director of Bands, The George Washington University, Washington, DC

Music Performance--Bass Trombone and Tuba

  • Staff Orchestra, National Theater, Washington, DC
    • Spotlight: September-October, 1979
    • Snow White: November-December 1979
    • Bob Fosse's Dancin': February-March 1980
    • A Chorus Line: March-June 1980
    • Brigadoon: August-October 1981
  • Washington Opera Orchestra, Washington, DC
  • Mephistopheles: New York City Opera Company
    Concert Orchestra, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC
  • Smithsonian Institute Brass Ensemble, Papal Visit, 1981
  • National Cathedral Brass Quintet. Episcopal Gathering of Primates, 1981
  • Inaugural Gala Orchestra, Inauguration of President Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, Musical Director 1981
  • National Symphony Orchestra, Gabrieli Octets, Antol Dorati, Conducting
  • National Symphony Orchestra, Berlioz Requiem, John Nelson, Conducting
  • National Symphony Orchestra, 1812 Overture, Mstislav Rostropovich, Conducting

Appearances with:
• Alexandria Symphony
• Arlington Symphony • Fairfax Symphony • Ice Capades • Holiday on Ice • Shipstad and Johnson's Ice Follies • Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus • Frank Sinatra • Perry Como • Liberace • Cher • Bob Hope • Wayne Newton • Anita Bryant • Gladys Knight • Les Elgart • Johnny Mathis • Johnny Cash • Roberta Peters • The Osmonds • Teddy Pendergrass, • Charlie Pride

• Member of THE U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own), Washington, DC

  • Capitol Summer Concert Series: 1971-76: 72 performances
  • Watergate Summer Concert Series: 1971-72: 24
  • Jefferson Summer Concert Series: 1973-76: 48 performances
  • Soloist, Jefferson Summer Concert Series: 1976
  • Pershing's Own Anniversary Concerts: Constitution Hall: 1971-75
  • National Mall Bicentennial Celebration, July 4, 1976
  • The U.S. Army Chamber Orchestra, Washington, DC

Music Performance -- Musical Director and Conductor

  • Middle Tennessee State University:
  • Conductor, Choral Society, MTSU, February 1995
    • Conductor, Wind Ensemble Conference, MTSU, February, 1994
    • Guest Conductor, Department of Music Gala, MTSU March 1994
    • Guest Conductor, MTSU Symphonic Band, Fall 1994
    • Guest Conductor, MTSU Symphonic Band, Fall 1995
    • Guest Conductor, Millikin University Jazz Band
  • Conductor, Howard University Trombone Choir
  • Conductor, University of Illinois Trombone Choir
  • Guest Conductor/Clinician: East Leyden High School Band
  • Music Director, Le Josephine, George Washington University, Wash. DC
  • Music Director, Fairlington Chorus, Arlington, VA
  • Music Director, Arlington Presbyterian Church, Arlington, VA
  • Music Director, Springfield Christian Church, Springfield, VA

Music Publications and Presentations

  • Contributor. "Suggestions for Students Choosing A Music School," compiled by L.Cook. The Instrumentalist Magazine, October 1995.
  • Author. "Improving the Odds for A Career in Music." The Instrumentalist Magazine,
  • Contributor. "Memories of Music Camp." The Instrumentalist Magazine, March 1996. Presenter: TQM in Higher Education; Moments of Truth MTSU Administrative Retreat
  • Guest Panelist: Career Opportunities in the Music Industry, Tennessee Leadership Seminar
  • Guest Panelist: Recruitment and Retention of Music Students, MENC convention
  • Chair designate: National Committee on Admission and Retention in Schools of Music
  • Guest Lecturer: The Art of Music, the Media of Change, Mississippi University for Women
  • Clinician: Marching Band Techniques, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
  • Adjudicator: Millikin University Jazz Festival, Decatur, Illinois.
  • Adviser (motorcycle safety issues): Committee on Traffic Safety, Council of Governments, Washington, DC.
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Penguin Thought of the Day
"Belonging has never been easy for me. The same may be true for you. But running and being social has helped me learn to belong. If there's a group of runners near you, join them. If there isn't a group, start one."