Bill O'Neill, clarinet
Bill O’Neil is professor of clarinet at the University of Texas Rio Grand Valley where he has been on faculty since 1992. Between completing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Minnesota in 1990 and his arrival in South Texas, he taught at Utah State University (1990-91) and Memorial University of Newfoundland (1991-92). He has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony, the Minnesota Opera, the Victoria (Texas) Symphony,and the Symphony Orchestra of Nuevo Leon, among others. He has been co-principal clarinetist with the Valley Symphony since 1992. He has been featured soloist with the Valley Symphony twice, with the Winnipeg Youth Orchestra, the UTRGV Symphony, the UTRGV Clarinet Symphony, and the UT Brownsville Clarinet Choir. He is very active in arranging music for clarinet and/or saxophone solo and/or ensemble. Many of his arrangements are published by RGM Music in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Bill has played in or conducted the university’s clarinet choir at Clarinet Fests in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in Madrid, Spain, in Lawrence, Kansas, and in Ostend, Belgium since 2014. Covid necessitated the cancellation of this year’s ClarinetFest in Reno, Nevada, to which the ensemble had been invited yet again.
Bill was born and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and graduated from the University of Winnipeg with an English major in a BA degree. He completed his Master’s degree (1987) and DMA (1990) at the University of Minnesota, where he was a student, first of J. Cloyde Williams and later of Dr. John Anderson.
Bill is especially fond of playing chamber music, with a special regard for chamber music for clarinet and strings. His wife Gail is a retired violinist and two of his three grown daughters have been cellists and the other a singer. The have seven grandchildren. Bill and Gail have long been intimately involved in church music. They currently have seven great cats.