Art and Music by John O'Neill '55

John O’Neill '55 and his wife, Nelle Doak O’Neill ’56, haven’t slowed down one bit since we wrote about them in our 2006/4 issue (“Renaissance Couple”). If anything, maybe they’ve become more active! Two of John’s compositions for strings, An Americana Medley and his transcription of Grieg’s Last Spring, recently received the editor’s choice award of sheet music retailer J. W. Pepper. His Celtic Suite for string orchestra was published last September by TRN Music Publisher. Another of his compositions, Mexicali Holiday, was performed at the 61st annual Midwest Clinic: An International Band and Orchestra Conference, held in December in Chicago. All of these scores were written for and premiered by the Carson Valley Sinfonia, which John conducts and runs jointly with Nelle, in their hometown of Minden, Nevada.CVS premiered two more of John’s scores at a December concert: Carson Valley Hoedown (later renamed Carson Valley Rhapsody) and American Pioneer Suite. One movement from Pioneer Suite is called “Turkey in the Straw.” John reports that the audience “burst into laughter after this movement.” 

John’s photograph “Winter Shadows” graced the back cover of our 2007/3 (“For Love of Crew” cover) print issue and is at right. Nelle continues to make her one-of-a-kind, award-winning violins and violas. Nelle and John came east from Nevada in October to visit family and John’s music publishers. While on their travels they stopped in Ithaca to meet ICView editor Maura Stephens and art director Carol Goodling for lunch, among other area visits. 

Click on the link above right to listen to a clip from "Turkey in the Straw."