John Holland has spent the majority of his music career in the performance side of music making, but over the last ten years, has devoted more time to composition. He has composed works for SATB choir, String Quartet, trumpet and organ, and solo voice with chamber ensemble. He has also arranged some traditional Canadian folksongs for choral ensemble. John is currently a PhD candidate in Musicology at York University, and also holds a Masters degree in Vocal Performance and an Artist Diploma in Performance (both from U.W.O) and an Honours Bachelor of Music from the University of Windsor. An operatic baritone, John maintains a steady performance schedule of recital, opera, and oratorio work. He has been a featured soloist with ensembles such as the Toronto Orpheus Choir, The Stratford Symphony, The Toronto Chamber Choir, Hamilton Symphony, the Gerald Fagan Singers, Opera Nuova (Edmonton), Orchestra London, Opera By Request (Toronto), and The London Singers. His repertoire includes Figaro (Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro), Bass Soloist (Mozart: Requiem, Haydn: Nelson Mass, Handel: Messiah), Baritone Soloist (Beethoven: 9th Symphony, Orff: Carmina Burana), Alberich (Wagner: Das Rheingold), and Sid (Britten: Albert Herring), just to name a few.
In the past five years, John has taken on more responsibilities as a conductor and voice instructor. He was the artistic director and conductor of the West Elgin Choral Society for four years, and also spent two years as music director and conductor with Musical Theatre Productions in London. Over the period, John has been in demand as a music lecturer, presenting lectures for the Canadian Opera Company - London Guild three years running. John was winner of the CBC Radio Opera Quiz, has been a three-time judge for the Juno Awards, and has served as music reviewer for Side Street Review, and Toronto Life Magazine.
Growing up in the Anglican choral tradition, John developed an appreciation for a wide variety of sacred music styles, from Tallis, to Mozart, to Howells. Into his university training, his interests moved to more solo vocal music of Schubert, Vaughan Williams, and the operatic traditions of Mozart, Britten, Verdi, and Wagner. As a focus for PhD work, John has immersed himself in the compositions, specifically vocal works, of Dvořák, Janaček, Smetana, and their contemporaries. This legacy of training has given John a wealth of musical styles, traditions, and instrumentations upon which to draw for inspiration.