John Summers took up the guitar at age 16, and a few years later, after graduating through playing clubs and other venues, joined a touring children’s theatre company as composer, musical director and performer, travelling extensively throughout the eastern states of Australia. This was followed by session work with ABC radio shows, and culminating in a 13-part TV series for ABC television. He then became composer-in-residence for the North Queensland Regional Arts association, teaching composition and music theory. While constantly supplementing his income with music teaching (in schools, jails, universities and music shops), he secured extra work as a musician in various theatre productions, including two at the Sydney Opera House.
He then spent four years in Cambridge, England, making a living as an audio technician, while co- founding a classical guitar society in the region. On returning to Australia, he secured a job as a musical instrument technician with the Buddy Holly show, touring for five years throughout Australia and New Zealand. After settling down in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, he constructed a recording studio which specialised in classical and acoustic music. Meanwhile, he continues to add to his catalogue of instrumental compositions (string quartets, guitar solos, duets and trios, guitar and oboe and solo violin), works for string orchestra and chamber orchestra, and many vocal pieces (acapella, and accompanied by string quartet, wind trio, guitar and clarinet, etc.)
1973 - 1978
Musician, composer and musical director for school theatre touring company in Australia
Composer and performer of ABC Television 13- part series “Wayzgoose”
Composer - in - residence, North Queensland Regional Arts Association
1985 - 1987
Pit musician in Sydney musicals at various theatre venues including Sydney Opera House
1987 to 1991
Resident in Cambridge, UK
1992 to 2015
Monetary pressures necessitated full time employment as an Audio Technician. This included building and operating Lee Street Studios in 1995, which specialises in recording acoustic music both in-studio and on location. Composition work during this time includes works for multiple voices (both acapella and accompanied by various ensembles), and pieces for chamber orchestra, guitar and oboe, solo stringed instruments and string quartet.
2016 to present
Continuing to add to the catalogue