John Varineau

John Varineau


  • M.Mus., Yale School of Music, 1978
  • B.Mus., University of Wyoming, 1976


John Varineau was appointed in 2013 to the music faculty at Calvin University, where he conducted the Calvin Orchestra and the Calvin Community Symphony. Prior to this appointment he had been a visiting orchestra conductor at Calvin University, taught Music Theory at Calvin University and, as a clarinetist, taught clarinet at Calvin University, Cornerstone University, Grand Valley State University, and Grand Rapids Community College.

Mr. Varineau was also associate conductor of the Grand Rapids Symphony, and conductor of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, retiring in May 2021 after 36 years. For four years, he served as the Music Director of the Holland Chamber Orchestra (now the Holland Symphony). He has also been a visiting orchestra conductor Western Michigan University, a guest conductor for the Traverse City Symphony, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, and the Duluth-Superior Orchestra.

Mr. Varineau conducted nearly all of the Grand Rapids Symphony concert series, including the Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series, Fox Motors Pops Series, the SymphonicBoom Series, Crowe Horwath Rising Stars Series, DTE Energy Foundation Family Series, PNC Lollipop Series and the D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops. He also conducts a variety of educational and outreach concerts throughout the area. Mr. Varineau is committed to nurturing the next generation of classical music lovers.

He is a frequent visitor to area schools, and he shares an infectious enthusiasm with students throughout West Michigan.

Mr. Varineau also appears in a variety of summer music programs in the region and plays in the chamber music group Montage. In 2003, he appeared twice as a guest conductor with the Arkansas Symphony.

Additionally, he conducts the Grand Rapids Symphony for performances by the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. Mr. Varineau attended Michigan State University, University of Wyoming and Yale School of Music for his clarinet training. He has made three recordings with the Grand Rapids Symphony and three with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

He and his wife, Gwen, have a daughter, Jade, and a son, Justin.


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