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Carson Valley man will conduct original compositions

by Mellisa Murphy, staff writer

Carson Valley musician and educator John O’Neill will conduct the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra in two of his own compositions at the 17th annual “Pops in the Park” celebration in Genoa on July 4.

One of O’Neill’s pieces, the “Fourth of July Polka,” has been a philharmonic staple for eight years. The other piece, “1776,” a concert march, is new to the program.

“I want people to know that there is a great deal of music talent in this area,” O’Neill said. “We are very proud of three of our students who recently auditioned and won three of eight open positions in the Reno Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.”

Twelve of the students from O’Neill’s Carson Valley Violin School will also be performing his compositions with the Reno Philharmonic on July 4.

“Not very many people know that there are composers and conductors right here,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill has published compositions through Belwin, Warner Bros. and Bourne publishing companies. He received a conducting fellowship in 1963 and has co-founded and conducted the New York Hornell Symphony and the California Los Gatos-Saratoga Symphony.

The Reno Philharmonic plays at 5 p.m., following a performance by the Reno Silver Dollar Chorus at 3 p.m. O’Neill will be conducting after the intermission.

“Pops in the Park” is held at the Mormon Station State Park in Genoa. The park grounds offer large grassy areas, trees and picnic tables. Families are encouraged to come early and picnic. Umbrellas are allowed in the “stockade” area.

For more information about the festivities or facilities, call 782-2590. For information about the Carson Valley Violin School, call 267-3495.