DAMSMA studied at the North Netherlands Conservatory in Groningen,
the main subjects were cello (with Anner Bylsma), school music and
orchestra conducting (with Alfred Salten and later Paul Huppert).
After a short career as tutti cellist, he spent 20 years working as director of a music school, conductor of the choir and symphony orchestra of the University of Groningen, the Frisian Chamber Orchestra and several chamber choirs.
He performed in Hungary and Poland with the choir 'Trans'. With the same choir he conducted the world premieres the work of the Dutch composers Daan Manneke and Jacob ter Veldhuis.
1985 he co-founded the welknown in the Netherlands vocalgoup 'Tight
In 2008 he started a new vocal group called '1for12', the winner of the 'North Netherland a Cappella Close Harmony Festival' held on November 2008.
Besides his career as a classical musician John Damsma has always dealt with the light music, first as a drummer in a school band and later as a trombone player in some jazz ensembles.
Futher more he focused on training of choral conductors in light music in the specialization courses of the then 'SNK', today 'KUNSTFACTOR'.
is co-author of 'Let's Work it Out', a handbook for light
Damsma was for many years a member of the team that conducted the
annual study week 'Vocation' for choir singers.
John writes arrangements for various choirs and instrumental ensembles which are often realised to be sung on the diverse ensemble repertoire.
On behalf of the "EUROCHOR 2007" he arranged the song 'Laura'. The Belgian conductor and composer Kurt Bikkembergs conducted the world premiere on August 2007 in Mechelen (Belgium).
John worked as music director of the R.C Gronings Student Association 'Albertus Magnus' for the musical 'Rent' performed in June 2007. This musical production anniversary has been seen a couple of times on stage.
is much demanded as a juror at festivals in several choirs as well as
John arranged a number of songs of Burt Bacharach for the 'Groninger Youth Choir'.
He was chairman of the jury for the "The Fendert Swingt"
festival of April 2010.
John has been invited to the international festival 'Slovakia Cantat' 2011 in Bratislava as a jurymember and In May 2011 at the 'European Music Festival for Youth' in Neerpelt (Belgium), which is an instrumental edition.
In March 2011, John conducted the women's choir 'Mrs. Johnson' along with the 'Groninger Child and Youth Choir' with the "Spirit of the Child" from Rupert Lang.