Composer writes march for Nevada Day parade

The Eagle Valley Middle School band will stride out to the sounds of the "Silver and Sage March" on Saturday.

Carson Valley resident John O'Neill, co-founder of the Carson Valley Violin School, wrote the "Silver and Sage March" specifically for this year's Nevada Day parade.

"I was approached by the Nevada Day Committee, and they asked if I'd write a song for Larry Holloway's band at Eagle Valley Middle School," O'Neill said.

O'Neill taught band and strings in San Jose, Calif., public schools for many years before coming to the Carson Valley. Though he actually started out writing band music, he has concentrated on mostly string pieces in the last several years.

"Since moving here, I have done a lot more composing," O'Neill said. "In fact, I got a 'serious music award' from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for writing music for the purpose of education during the last six years."

O'Neill has written three songs which have been performed by the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra at their annual Fourth of July concert in Genoa.

"I wrote the '4th of July Polka,' which has been played every year there since 1993," he said. "I also wrote the 'Carson Valley Hoedown' and '1776.' Last year, I got to conduct the orchestra in '1776' and the 'Fourth of July Polka' - it was quite a thrill."

O'Neill said he will be sitting near the review stand Saturday to watch the parade. The Eagle Valley Middle School marching band will play an abbreviated version of the march during the parade which starts at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 30. The Carson City school will be marching around 70th, he said.

The concert version of the "Silver and Sage March" will also be performed at 3 p.m. Saturday in front of the Supreme Court buildings for a dedication ceremony there, he said. Lt. Governor Lorraine Hunt will be on hand for that event.


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