History of the band method book

Janice will speak John about the way he came to write some of the most popular band method books ever written, and how they are still relevant today.

John O’Reilly is one of the most-performed composers of school band and orchestra music in the world today. A recipient of numerous ASCAP awards, he has studied composition with Robert Washburn, Arthur Frackenpohl, Charles Walton and Donald Hunsberger. As co-author of the Yamaha Band Student, Accent on Achievement and Strictly Strings, John has made a major impact on the education of young musicians. Over sixteen million students have begun their musical life studying out of a book authored by Mr. O’Reilly.

John attended the Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Postdam, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in 1962. In 2014 the college awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Music degree. In addition, he is the recipient of a Master of Arts in Composition and Theory from Columbia University. John’s 12 years of teaching experience at elementary through college levels has provided him with insights and sensitivities to the needs of both students and educators. An elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, John is a frequent conductor of honor bands worldwide and has received numerous commissions to write for ensembles at all levels. He has conducted in 48 states, all Canadian provinces and many international venues.

He has 500 of his compositions published by Alfred, Bourne, Kendor, Shawnee Press and G. Schirmer. For thirty five years Mr. O’Reilly served as Executive Vice president and Editor-in Chief for Alfred Publishing, the largest educational music publisher in the world. He and his wife Judith, a flutist and graduate of the Crane School of Music currently split their time between homes in Pacific Palisades, CA and Hannawa Falls, NY.



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