Vern Griffiths


Vern Griffiths


Vern Griffiths is a dynamic and versatile performer who joined the Vancouver Symphony as Principal Percussionist in 1997.   He has also been a member of Standing Wave, the Music On Main All-Star Band, Turning Point Ensemble, CBC Radio Orchestra, and can be heard on soundtracks for Disney, ABC, IMAX, NFB, EA Sports, and Dreamworks.  2019 saw him perform the world premiere of Perxploitation, a full-length percussion concerto written for him by Nicole Lizée.  He has performed his kids show hit, Wall to Wall Percussion, over 60 times with the Toronto, Winnipeg, Lima (OH), Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, and Vancouver Symphonies.

He made his VSO conducting debut in 2013 in Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat, and has since conducted various pops, kids, and education shows with the orchestra, including Stewart Copeland’s Police Deranged, Holly Cole Christmas, and his second education show, The Composer is Here.  Vern has also performed The Composer is Here with the Edmonton Symphony last year, and the Victoria Symphony this year.

He has a particular interest in working with living composers, and has conducted works by Jocelyn Morlock, Alfredo Santa Ana, Dorothy Chang, John Estacio, Nico Muhly, Rita Ueda, Andrea Tarrodi, Laura Pettigrew, and Marcus Goddard.  He is also a composer, and recently had two of his works recorded by the VSO.

This season Vern will be conducting and hosting the premiere of his new show on the Kids Concert series, called "What do YOU Play?”.  This show will be a seriously silly exploration of musical instruments, and why we play them.  On the Pops series, he’ll be conducting Prohibition on the Pops series, featuring music of Moulin Rouge, Boardwalk Empire, and the roaring 20s.