John O'Neill is a composer , mostly of music for young string players . . . music that is playable, fun, sometimes a little serious, and well received by performers and audience alike. A native of 'upstate' New York, John was born in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region south of Rochester, graduated from Red Jacket Central School in Manchester and received degrees in music theory and composition from Ithaca College and The Eastman School of Music where he studied with Warren Benson, Bernard Rogers, Kent Kennan and Wayne Barlow. John taught various aspects of music at the elementary, secondary, community college and university level for over thirty-five years and conducted community and semi-professional orchestras in New York State and the San Francisco Bay Area from 1961 to 1982. More recently, he has been a guest conductor of the Reno Philharmonic in performances of several of his compositions. John has been a yearly recipient of an ASCAPlus Award since 1994 and have now, or have had in the past, scores in the catalogs of Ludwig Masters, FJH, Grand Mesa, TRN, Alfred, Belwin, Belwin-Mills, Kendor, Warner Bros., Bourne, and Imagine Music. Six of his scores have received the J.W. Pepper, "Editor's Choice" award over the past 5 years. His publications are now in the music libraries of middle schools, high schools and colleges throughout the United States and Canada.
John lives with his wife, Nelle (an award winning violin maker), their cat (Antonio Stradivari) and their dog (Charlee) in Douglas County, Nevada on a hillside overlooking the beautiful Carson Valley. They are founding directors (1992) of the Carson Valley Violin School, Carson Valley Sinfonia and Carson Valley Violins, the only full-service string shop between Reno and Las Vegas.