Vern Griffiths, Principal Percussion
Martha Lou Henley Chair
Percussionist Vern Griffiths is one of the prominent players in Vancouver’s musical community. He joined the Vancouver Symphony as Principal Percussionist in 1997, and is also a member of the award-winning contemporary music group Standing Wave. Vern has appeared as soloist with the VSO several times on various concert series, including the world premiere of Nicole Lizée’s percussion concerto “Perxploitation” at the 2019 New Music Festival. He can be heard on recordings with the VSO, Standing Wave, CBC Radio Orchestra, Turning Point Ensemble, as well as soundtracks for Disney, Imax, Universal, ABC, PBS, EA Sports, Lionsgate, and Dreamworks.
Vern has appeared as soloist with the VSO, Victoria Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, and Toronto Symphony for dozens of performances of his kids show Wall to Wall Percussion. He also made his VSO main stage conducting debut in 2019, leading a Magic Circle Mime show and the Holly Cole Christmas concert.
Originally from North Vancouver, Vern has degrees in Music and Commerce from UBC, and a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music. A committed educator, he has taught at UBC since 1997, and has directed the Percussion Ensemble since 2005.
Vern is very proud that the Principal Percussion chair is endowed by his friend and generous patron of the arts, Martha Lou Henley.