JOHN 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).
During his orchestra conducting study, he studied also the subjects composition and orchestration (with Willem Frederik Bon).

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.

In 1985 he co-founded the welknown in the Netherlands vocalgoup 'Tight Bars'.
Since early 2005, John is the conductor of the women's choir 'Mrs. Johnson', which he founded.

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'.

He is co-author of 'Let's Work it Out', a handbook for light music conductors.
He participated in 'Choir and Vocal Training' from Frans Schouten, published by Wolters Noordhof.
For the Dutch National Support and Art Development he worked on the edition for vision and ideas for the musical development.

John Damsma was for many years a member of the team that conducted the annual study week 'Vocation' for choir singers.
As guest lecturer John taught vocal light music workshops at the Music Academy in Poznan (Poland).

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.

He is much demanded as a juror at festivals in several choirs as well as abroad.
In the season 2004 - 2005, John Damsma was the national General Chairman of the jury of the Dutch Choir Festival.
In the season 2009 - 2010 John was one of the two permanent judges presidents of the Dutch Choir Festival.
At the 'Vocal Light Top Festival' 2005, 2007 and 2009 John was chairman of the jury.

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.
For consecutive years John was again chairman of the jury of the 'European Music Festival for Youth' in Neerpelt (Belgium).

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.


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