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Winter Semesters of 2022 and 2020 - John was the conductor and course director for the York University Chamber Choir and Concert Choir.

Since 2014, John has been the music director at Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic Parish in North York, Toronto. 

From 2012-2018, John was a conductor of various choral ensembles at York University, working with Dr. Lisette Canton.

In 2013, John was an assistant conductor of the Ontario Youth Choir, under the direction of Dr. Elroy Friesen.

Voice Instructor

John maintains a private voice studio of university-level and emerging professional singers, teaching in person and also over zoom. He is also on faculty at PEN Education in Oakville, Ontario.

His teaching methodology is:

  • Focus on proper vocal technique by understanding breathing and body mechanics, vowel formation, and phonation.

  • Encourages artistic expression through the use of vocal intensity, dynamics, phrasing, and musical line.

  • Language diction coaching in English, German, Italian, French and Czech (specialization). Teaching in IPA.

  • Creates a safe environment of constructive criticism to challenge singers to grow beyond their comfort zone.

  • Vast knowledge of repertoire allows me to create individualized curricula and choose repertoire to promote vocal development and artistic growth for voices of varying musicality, including non-voice and non-music majors.

  • Coach singers through repertoire selection by understanding of their tessitura and fach; special attention is paid to understanding the intimate relationship between text and melody.

  • Comprehensive experience conducting professional, amateur and academic concerts and productions.

  • Adjudication ranging from judging the JUNO Awards, to young singer competitions, to vocal master classes.

  • Mentoring young singers for music competitions, University Music Auditions, professional performance, etc.

Professional Testimonials


Coaching Czech sung diction with Dr. John Holland was a wonderfully helpful experience in preparing my role for Rusalka. The level of detail and the audio materials provided gave me new insight into the sung Czech language. The fact that he is also a professional singer really helped me immensely as he was able to coach the text with me musically, which is the only way to really coach a sung language. I was able to work with John remotely, which makes it easy to work with him from anywhere in the world. If you are looking to learn Czech singing, I highly recommend John! ~ Othalie Graham, Soprano

Dr. Holland has had a monumental impact on my singing career and my passion for music. He is constantly engaged and an active participant in his students’ musical development. He knows everything about everything — you can quiz him whenever for anything you need! Technique, history, theory, trivia — Dr. Holland will have an insightful answer. His speciality is picking appropriate opera repertoire for voices — he has a sixth sense when it comes to recommending repertoire. The rep he has chosen for me is not only uniquely suited to my instrument but also is ever so slightly challenging my current technical stage, causing me to grow and learn. His knowledge of opera repertoire and professional experience is invaluable to his students and peers, but what truly makes him stand out from the crowd is the warm, open, and encouraging nature of his communication. He makes a positive impression on every student. I’m very grateful to have met and been a student of Dr. Holland’s, as my study of music and voice has never been so impassioned and enlightening. ~ Grace Quinsey, soprano 


Student Testimonials

Each lesson and choir rehearsal has been a comfortable and positive environment with a different challenge. Since starting with Dr. Holland, I have noticed a significant difference in the strength of my voice, technique, and my confidence, thanks to his influence. John will consistently go out of his way to find repertoire that helps with his students’ specific skills, technique that needs work and that would also
be enjoyable to learn. John’s passion for teaching and making music is unparalleled.
~ Hannah Lim, Soprano (York University)

My time with Dr. John Holland as my voice lesson instructor has been perhaps the most productive musical period of my ongoing studies. He is knowledgeable and a diligent teacher, going out of his way to find repertoire that his students will enjoy, as well as pushing the limits
of their musicality. Since starting with him in early October of 2019, my vocal range and support has improved drastically, as well as my confidence in my abilities. John understands the hurdles that come with
being both a chorister and a soloist, and this is evident in his compassionate teaching style and technical knowledge.
Dr. Holland is well versed in various sung languages and classical music styles, which is invaluable in learning choral or solo repertoire, especially in languages that are perhaps sung less often (including his specialization in Czech music.)
~ Joseph Ernst, Baritone (York University)

Working with Dr. John Holland over the course of the last six months has really opened up many doors and incredible opportunities in my life. I have already been able to see drastic improvements in my voice and technical abilities. Having the opportunity to work on a private level with John, my confidence in my vocal abilities has increased and thanks to his broad expanse of knowledge, John has been able to help me identify composers, genres, and pieces that I both enjoy and compliment my voice type. Overall, John is an extremely kind and compassionate, optimistic, and knowledgeable person who has already offered so much to myself, my studies and has benefited numerous students in his time with our choirs and in our private lessons. ~ Oriana Lodwick, Alto (York University)

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