Music from the Desert

2838 East Valley Road
Carson Valley, Nevada 89423
(775) 267-3495/

John O'Neill, ASCAP
Now Playing
Carson Valley Rhapsody
Performed by
The Washington D C Pops

Welcome to my new web site . . . a work in progress . . .

Let me introduce myself . . . I am 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, I 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 I studied with Warren Benson, Bernard Rogers, Kent Kennan and Wayne Barlow.

I 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, I have been a guest conductor of the Reno Philharmonic in performances of several of my compositions. I have been a yearly recipient of an ASCAPlus Award since 1994 and have now, or have had in the past, scores in the catalogs of LudwigMasters, FJH, Imagine Music Publishers, Grand Mesa, TRN, Alfred, Belwin, Belwin-Mills, Kendor, Warner Bros. and Bourne. Nine of my scores have received the J. W. Pepper, "Editor's Choice" award since 2007.

I have had considerable success with string orchestra arrangements of the 'classics' which I endeavor to make sound as if they were written by the original composer. My publications are now in the music libraries of middle schools, high schools and colleges throughout the United States and Canada. In 2014, I was awarded first place in the Reno Pops', "Composer's Night" competition for my score, "Mambo for Mike".

I live, with my wife, Nelle (an award winning violin maker), and our dog, Charlee in Douglas County, Nevada on a hillside overlooking the beautiful Carson Valley. We 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.

You may view and hear
all of my string orchestra publicaions at:

J.W. Pepper