John Mehrmann '07

Discovering the Diverse Skills of John Mehrmann: Composer, Performing Musician, and Educator
John Mehrmann

John Mehrmann is a composer, pianist, organist, choir director, percussionist, and teacher who resides in Maine with his wife, Abigail, and two sons. His musical talents encompass many genres and styles, from directing the a cappella choral ensemble VoXX: Voice of Twenty to composing soundtracks for feature films.

John grew up with his family in New Hampshire, and his love for music began at a young age. His first instrument was the piano, followed by drumming lessons, which later became his primary instrument during his undergraduate studies at the University of New Hampshire. John earned his bachelor’s degree in music performance in 2007 before pursuing a master’s degree in music composition from the New England Conservatory, which he earned in 2010.

During his time at UNH, John played local gigs, instructed classmates, and honed his percussion skills under the tutelage of Professor Nancy Smith. Professors Les Harris Jr., Chris Kies, and Rob Haskins additionally helped John expand his drum, piano, composition, and music history skills respectively. John’s musical direction further developed during his time in graduate school. Enrolling in a Renaissance counterpoint course proved instrumental in John’s introduction and subsequent fascination with Renaissance choral music. The discovery of this entirely new sound led John to direct VoXX: Voice of Twenty, which specializes in classical music from different eras. John has been actively directing VoXX, and his creative abilities can be found in the plethora of choral pieces he’s composed for the ensemble.

John’s passion for music education dates to his high school years, when he commenced instructing middle schoolers on the drums. This growing interest eventually led him to pursue a career in the field, where he continues to share his knowledge and expertise with students of all ages. John has held positions as a professor at the University of Maine at Augusta and the Bay Chamber Music School in Rockport as well as instructing music theory at Colby College. John recently held the position of Music Director at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Auburn, and now serves as the Choir Director, Organist, and Pianist at St. Patrick’s Church in Newcastle, ME.   Alongside these roles, John is a member of the Bangor Symphony Percussion Section. He has also lent his talents to numerous other groups, such as the Portland Symphony, Portland Ballet, Opera Maine, and Maine State Ballet.

John has composed and contributed to numerous short and feature films throughout his career. One of his most notable works includes the score for the 2020 horror film, Honeydew. The soundtrack creates a sense of delirium and unease as it accompanies the story of a young couple forced to seek shelter in the home of an aging farmer and her peculiar son. John adeptly integrated a wide range of genres and styles into the film, including subdued chanting and clanging reminiscent of cowbells, as well as utilizing ordinary household objects and employing techniques that alter his vocal delivery to create a disquieting auditory ambiance. Moreover, the music effectively utilizes low drones and ominous percussion, contributing to the film’s atmosphere of suspense and fear. Employing the equipment available at home, John wrote and produced the score in his living room while living in Belmont, MA. Notably, most of the audio content was recorded using a single microphone. Critics have described the soundtrack as “unnerving” (The New York Times), “truly disturbing” (The Guardian) and “one of the best film scores of the year,” (Movies in Focus) further emphasizing the ability of John’s score to contribute significantly to the experience of the film.

John has worked on many other feature and short films, including Otherside (2022), No Man’s Land (2022), and Loud Places (2017). His work has been showcased at several esteemed festivals, such as the Tribeca Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and the Rome Film Fest. Director Kristen Buckels and John are currently working on a new feature film that builds upon the short film No Man’s Land, which premiered last year. Concurrently, John is composing the score for a forthcoming Christmas-themed drama.

John is also known for his work as the composer of “Transportation Through Time,” a children’s music program for the Portland Symphony’s percussion Kinderkonzerts. The piece, which tells the story of three percussionists traveling through time, has been well-received by audiences throughout the state for the past ten years. In addition to this, John has also created other notable compositions such as Magnificat (2018), In the Beginning (2018), and Ascension Anthem (2016) which was specially crafted for the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.

As a composer, percussionist, pianist, organist choir director and instructor, John Mehrmann is a diverse and skilled individual who has richly explored music in its various forms.  He has composed, taught, and performed music for various audiences and purposes, from conducting a classical vocal group to providing cinema soundtracks. John Mehrmann’s exceptional career trajectory underscores the potential of music to enrich one’s personal life and serve as a means for achieving professional fulfillment.

For further information on John Mehrmann’s present and forthcoming endeavors, visit his official website at

Kurylo, Corey. “Exploring the multifaceted Talents of John Mehrmann: Composer, Performing Musician and Teacher.” University of New Hampshire, 10 March 2023.

Standing in the garden photo citation: Mehrmann, Abigail. John Mehrmann. 2021.