New Orchestra Conductor Comes to Calvin

John Varineau, a longtime conductor of both the Grand Rapids Symphony and the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony Orchestra, has been named the new conductor of the Calvin Orchestra and the Grand Rapids Community Symphony.

John Varineau is no stranger to music at Calvin.

A part-time member of Calvin’s music faculty, Varineau is looking forward to conducting for the college.

Varineau first came to Michigan in 1972 to attend Michigan State University, where a friend shared the gospel with him. “It was on the long, long walk from my science class to our dorm that I accepted Christ as my Savior,” he said.

Varineau completed his bachelor’s degree in music at the University of Wyoming, then earned his master’s at the Yale School of Music.

He has performed as a clarinetist with the New Haven Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of New England, and the Grand Rapids Symphony.

For several years he has been teaching clarinet and music appreciation on an adjunct basis at Calvin. From 1999 to 2001, he served his first stint as Calvin’s orchestra conductor. He was followed in that job by Robert Nordling, who conducted the Calvin Orchestra from 2002 through this year.

About the Author

Myrna Anderson is a senior writer in Calvin College’s communications and marketing department.