John E. Govedas

A brilliant composer and accompanist, John Govedas holds an enviable position in choral circles in Canada and abroad. His work across more than 30 years focused on writing for children’s choirs, and he is best known for his work in that field although he also worked effectively with adult voices. His iconic arrangements and compositions are distinguished by exceptional writing for chorus and piano, with both on an equal footing in their respective roles. The accompaniments, in particular, are very idiomatic and virtuosic – the product of a caring and inventive creative spirit that inhabits all of his writing.

To underscore his strong writing, which is often not easy, John Govedas’ quick wit and vibrant personality drew the best out of choirs and their conductors, leading to numerous awards and accolades at festivals and competitions, as well as frequent commissions. Many of his works were written for school choirs in Toronto, which he accompanied with unflagging love and gusto! That he was taken by cancer at the height of his career is an enormous loss to choral music.


Down in the River
Dream Song
I am the Song

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