Home 9 Composers 9 John Govedas

John E. Govedas  (1950-2005)   “He was a force of nature with 88 keys.” (Toronto Star) 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.


Pasejau Dobila

by John Govedas

SSA with piano – CP 1834 – 3:00

A brilliant sparkling Lithuanian folk song set in the Govedas style – with a formidable piano accompaniment. This is part of the Zimfira collection!

Something Told the Wild Geese

by John Govedas

SA with piano – CP 1833 – 2:55

“Something told the wild geese it was time to go.” One of the awesome miracles of nature, geese fly away in Autumn and come back to the very same place in Spring. The poetry of Rachel Field is given a marvellous setting by John Govedas. The piano part sparkles in flight over the lovely melodies.