It is difficult to think of a hymn festival without associating the name of John Ferguson with the experience. His participation in numerous NPM conventions has made his name almost synonymous with the words "hymn festival," events which are always highlights of the convention. Each year he is invited to design and lead such events in churches across the country as well as for AGO and ACDA regional and national conventions. In 1995 he designed and led a hymn festival in the Washington National Cathedral for the ACDA national convention and did the same in 1998 at the AGO national convention in Denver. He has designed hymn festivals for three national conventions of the NPM as well as for numerous regional conventions. He has presented such events abroad in both Asia (July 1996 in Seoul, Korea) and Europe (August 1997) in the National Cathedral of Norway, Nidaros Dom, Trondheim, as a part of the celebration of the millennium of the birth of St. Olaf.
Although himself a Lutheran, his festivals are ecumenical celebrations drawing upon the greatest treasures of Christian song from many centuries, traditions, and styles. John is the Elliot and Klara Stockdal Johnson Professor of Organ and Church Music and Cantor to the student congregation at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, where he also conducts the St. Olaf Cantorei, one of the major choral ensembles of the college. John's creative hymn arrangements continue this tradition in church music.