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Be your note.
— Rumi


John William Griffith II is a composer from South Bend, Indiana. He currently attends the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington where he studies music composition with Dr. Aaron Travers, Dr. Claude Baker, Dr. Don Freund and Prof. Sven-David Sandström. John is a member of the NOTUS Contemporary Vocal Ensemble directed by Dr. Dominick DiOrio. 

John began composition lessons with Dr. Jorge Muñiz in 2014 at Indiana University South Bend. John’s works have been performed by various ensembles including the C4 Choral Ensemble, Vancouver Chamber Singers, the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble CONCEPT/21 at IUSB, the South Bend Chamber Singers, and the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen Arts Camp. 

In the summer of 2017, John attended the European American Music Alliance in Paris, France, studying in the tradition of esteemed pedagogue Nadia Boulanger with Dr. David Conte and Dr. Philip Lasser. John was recently selected as the recipient of the Jon Vickers Film Scoring commission at the Indiana University Cinema, for which he will compose a full length score for a feature film under the guidance of Professor Larry Groupé. 

Having studied piano as his primary instrument since early childhood, John has been mentored by Mr. Andrew Sohn, Dr. John Blacklow, Dr. Michael Coonrod, Dr. Robert Satterlee, Dr. Anthony Beer, and Ms. Kathleen Keasey. He has performed in masterclasses with renowned pianists including Alexander Toradze, John Perry and Leon Bates. With a wide range of interests, John pursues additional studies in voice, film scoring, conducting, and Italian language, and enjoys a strong appreciation for jazz and musical theatre. 

John is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.




News and Events

Ad Hoc Orchestra Reading - January 12, 2019

In pursuit of his passion for conducting, John will lead a group of musicians at the IU Jacobs School of Music in an orchestral reading session of Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.” The event is free and open to the public, and a light reception will follow.

Jon Vickers Film Score, Performance - February 16, 2019

John has been selected as the recipient of the IU Cinema Jon Vickers Film Score Award, for which he will compose a new original score to the 1926 silent film The Strong Man, directed by Frank Capra. The film will screened with the score performed live on February 16, 2019 at 7pm, and conducted by the composer. Tickets available online or at the door.

To learn more about the IU Cinema, visit




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