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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. 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 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 famed 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

Jon Vickers Film Score Award announced

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 is set to be screened with the score performed live in February of 2019.

To learn more about the IU Cinema, visit their website:

New Voices Opera Double Bill announced

John has been chosen by the New Voices Opera committee at Indiana University to compose an opera in one act, which will be staged in May of 2019. For this work, John has chosen Upton Sinclair's The Jungle as his source for libretto, telling the story of Lithuanian immigrants working in Chicago's notorious Packingtown. 

To learn more about NVO, visit their website:

South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra - 50th Anniversary Concert

Wednesday, May 24, 2018 - 7:30pm - DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, University of Notre Dame

The South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra will perform John's orchestra piece The Saturn Expedition, as part of the orchestra's 50th anniversary celebration. The piece was originally written for the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen Arts Camp, and this will be its second live performance. The program will also feature the Dvořák Cello Concerto performed by Austin Huntington and the 3rd and 4th movements of Mahler's 2nd Symphony, conducted by Maestro Robert Spano. 

To learn more about the SBYSO, visit their website:




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