John Van Tongeren

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John Van Tongeren
Also known asJVT
OriginPhoenix, Arizona, U.S.[1]
GenresFilm score, synthpop, pop, pop rock
Occupation(s)Composer, music producer, songwriter, keyboardist
InstrumentsKeyboards, synthesizer
Years active1980s–present
Associated actsTrinom3

John Warrington Van Tongeren is an American keyboardist and composer for films and television.


Van Tongeren's career in the entertainment business began as a keyboardist, with one of his earliest projects being the band Q, featuring Jon St. James and Stacey Swain (a.k.a. Stacey Q). Q then became SSQ, which released one album, Playback, on EMI records with John contributing four songs, most notably Anonymous. After leaving SSQ in the early '80s, Van Tongeren became an in-demand session musician and began composing music for movies. As a musician, he has worked with Chicago, Roger Daltrey, Robbie Nevil, John Parr, Starship, Jeff Beck, Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, The Pointer Sisters, Living in a Box, Stryper, and others. He currently works out of The Blue Room, a recording studio in Los Angeles.

Van Tongeren began his film scoring career as one of the original members of Media Ventures (now Remote Control Productions). During his time at Media Ventures Van Tongeren worked on films such as Thelma & Louise,[2] True Romance[3] and Drop Zone with Hans Zimmer. He also collaborated with Mark Mancina on Speed,[4] Moll Flanders, Fair Game, Assassins[5] and Twister.

Van Tongeren then began to compose music for television series, including Poltergeist: The Legacy[6] and the nineties revival of The Outer Limits,[7] which he won awards for. Van Tongeren again collaborated with Mancina on the Speed sequel, Speed 2: Cruise Control, and then worked with Trevor Rabin on the 1998 film Armageddon.

Outside of film and television Van Tongeren was asked to compose three orchestral interludes and contribute production for the late Jazz drummer Tony Williams' 1996 album Wilderness.

In the 2000s Van Tongeren continued working on film scores, such as XXX and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor with Randy Edelman, The Passion of the Christ with John Debney, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous and the Disney films The Cheetah Girls and Princess Protection Program. He also scored more sci-fi television series including The 4400, for which he won the BMI award. His songwriting has led to platinum CDs for Rhythm of the Pride Lands – Disney, and The Cheetah Girls, as well as the Top Ten hit single for Starship, "It's Not Over ('Til It's Over)"[8] and 3 songs on the Wall-E Inspired by CD.

2010 saw projects including Iron Man 2 and Predators with John Debney and movies for Nickelodeon and Disney. John also wrote and produced songs on Disney's Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure and Bayou Boogie: Inspired by Princess & the Frog.

2014, John is scoring the redux of the classic Tom and Jerry Show for WB, airing on the Cartoon Network. Staying true to the style of the original cartoons from the 1940s and '50s, the series has John writing in a mix of orchestral and old school big band styles. In 2015 Van Tongeren wrote, sang and performed the theme to DreamWorks Animation's Dawn of the Croods, now in its third season on Netflix.

Trinom3 is John's jazz project that has released two albums so far. Details are Sketchy and Just a Bit Further.


Van Tongeren has won numerous awards, the most prestigious of which are a Daytime Emmy,[9] BMI Award[10] and two Gemini Awards.[11]

John won an Emmy in 2019 for his scores to WB Animation's The Tom and Jerry Show.[12] In 2005 Van Tongeren won a BMI Cable Award for the television series The 4400; which he shared with Tim P., Stephen Phillips, George S. Clinton and Claude Foisy.[10] In 2000 and 2001 Van Tongeren won the Gemini Award for Best Original Music Score for a Dramatic Series, for The Outer Limits; these were for the episodes "Tribunal" and "Simon Says" respectively.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Van Tongeren grew up in Phoenix, Arizona.[1]


  • Dawn of the Croods
  • The Tom and Jerry Show (52 episodes, 2014–2016)
  • Swindle
  • The Suite Life Movie
  • Rockin' The Wall
  • Den Brother
  • The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
  • Princess Protection Program
  • Twitches Too
  • WarGames: The Dead Code
  • Christmas Is Here Again
  • The 4400 (21 episodes, 2004–2007)
  • The Initiation of Sarah
  • Thief (6 episodes)
  • Masters of Science Fiction (1 episode)
  • Wanted (5 episodes)
  • Twitches
  • Empire
  • Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous
  • Son of the Mask (additional music)
  • Jesus the Driver
  • Van Helsing: The London Assignment[13]
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven (additional music)
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series (uncredited)
  • Don: Plain & Tall
  • The Cheetah Girls
  • Malibu's Most Wanted[14]
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (various episodes)
  • XXX (additional music)
  • The Scorpion King (additional music)
  • Disney's The Legend of Tarzan
  • The Outer Limits (54 episodes, 1995–2000)
  • Red Letters
  • Poltergeist: The Legacy (36 episodes, 1996–99)
  • The Magnificent Seven[15] (3 episodes, 1998–99)
  • Creature
  • Armageddon (additional music)
  • Speed 2: Cruise Control (additional music)
  • Dante's Peak (additional music)
  • Metro (additional music)
  • Twister (additional music)
  • Assassins (additional music)
  • Speed (additional music)
  • Drop Zone (additional music)
  • Monkey Trouble (additional music)
  • Renaissance Man (additional music)
  • True Romance (additional music)
  • Thelma & Louise (additional music)
  • The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers


  • Starship: Love Among the Cannibals
  • Steve Porcaro: Someday/Somehow
  • Trinom3: Just a Bit Further
  • Trinom3: Details are Sketchy


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Interview with John Van Tongeren: Jazz is so rooted in the history of the genre" (video). August 21, 2018. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  2. "John Van Tongeren Interview". Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  3. "StackPath". Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  4. "John Van Tongeren". BFI. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  5. "Assassins". Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
  6. Scott, Tony; Scott, Tony (April 22, 1996). "Showtime Original Poltergeist: The Legacy". Variety. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  7. Scott, Tony; Scott, Tony (March 24, 1995). "The Outer Limits Sandkings". Variety. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  8. Whitburn, Joel (2000). Joel Whitburn's Pop Annual, 1955–1999. Record Research. ISBN 978-0898201413. Search this book on Logo.png
  9. Hipes, Patrick; Hipes, Patrick (May 4, 2019). "Daytime Emmys Creative Arts Awards: 'Young And The Restless', 'Sesame Street' Among Winners". Deadline. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "BMI Honors Composers of Top Movies, TV Shows and Cable Programs at 2005 Film/TV Awards". May 18, 2005. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Garcia, Frank; Phillips, Mark (September 27, 2013). "Science Fiction Television Series, 1990–2004: Histories, Casts and Credits for 58 Shows". McFarland. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  12. "BMI Congratulates its Daytime Emmy Award Winners". May 6, 2019. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  13. "Van Helsing: The London Assignment (2004)". BFI. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  14. Holden, BStephen (April 18, 2003). "Film Review; Struggling Rapper in a Hood Filled With Porsches". The New York Times.
  15. Tomashoff, Craig (February 11, 2001). "TELEVISION/RADIO; Providing Musical Backbone (Very Quickly)". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2021.

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