Conductor Notes

Dr. John Snavely, Music Director/Conductor

Welcome to our new and exciting Green Valley Concert Band season! We greet all who choose to attend our concerts of memorable music in many styles performed by our fabulous Green Valley Concert Band! Our concerts are much more than just music, they are special events designed to promote joy to be remembered well after the final notes are played. Our first concerts at the Continental Plaza and Canoa Ranch, Oh The Places You Can Go, honor our Western National Parks. Imagine riding a donkey in On The Trail from Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite, or being a pioneer crossing Death Valley coming to a desert water hole in Grofe's Death Valley Suite! Mike Finkelstein will perform the trumpet jewel Farewell My Granada! Celebrate the father of our National Parks in the lively John Muir Suite, and sing along with America The Beautiful!


Experience A Gift Of Yuletide Music From Winter Festivals Around The World in our December concert. Take a musical peek inside a Moscow church with the awe-inspiring Russian Christmas Music, imagine a spinning Hanukkah top in Dreidel Dance, and sing along on a sleigh ride to grandma's house in Over The River And Through The Woods. Enjoy a flute cadenza and stirring percussive rhythms from the mid east in Arabesque. Traditionally we end with an audience sing-long in Christmas Festival by American favorite Leroy Anderson.


In January we present Broadway and Cinema Treasures! Experience the bold and dynamic Symphonic Dances From Fiddler On The Roof. Delightful well known and loved pianist Mary Lou Catania will perform Warsaw Concerto written for the film Dangerous Moonlight.Snap your fingers and tap your toes to a medley of Mancini tunes including The Pink Panther, and enjoy the mastery of John Williams in the Harry Potter Symphonic Suite. Add your fine voices to favorite tunes from The Sound Of Music, one of the top Broadway and Cinema musicals ever!


Dancing Around The World, our March concert with feature some of the best dance music ever including Danzon #2 by Marquez, Armenian Dances by Alfred Reed, and Four Scottish Dances by Malcolm Arnold. To further liven the concert we will perform Big Band Spectacular and Music From Elvis! Our percussionist extraordinaire Hillary Engel will show her mastery on a plethora of instruments performing Concerto For Percussion And Wind Ensemble.


Our season grand finale, Salute The Defenders Of America, honors our current and past brave military soldiers and leaders, and features a world class trumpet virtuoso, Dr. Jesse McGuire. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis, playing 1st trumpet in the orchestra Marsalis conducted at Lincoln Center. Some musical works on this concert: Armed Forces Salute, a medley of all the various service melodies, Flights Of Passage, music written based on the interviews of six WWII veterans, Mekong giving tribute to those who served in Vietnam, and Wings Across America honoring the WASPS, Women's Air Service Pilots of WWII. We will end the concert with wonderfully exciting swing big band music! Hope to see you all soon and come often!



John Snavely
Conductor and Musical Director
Green Valley Concert Band




John Snavely, affectionately know as “Dr. John,” earned his doctorate at the University of Arizona. He began his conducting career when he founded the Evening Wind Symphony in the mid-1990's at Pima Community College in Tucson. Now the ensemble is Sonora Winds and John remains musical director. In the mid 2000's GVCB board members came to a Sonora Winds concert, saw him conduct Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue, and hired him to be their musical director. As a high school senior, John won an audition and performed with the American Youth Performs Orchestra in Carnegie Hall under the baton of Carmen Dragon. He performed all summer in 1971 with the first Disneyland All American College Band. John is a member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra where he won an audition to play clarinet and bass clarinet in 1969, his first year at the University of Arizona. He has also performed with the Phoenix Symphony and Flagstaff Summer Festival orchestra and is principal clarinetist with the Tucson Pops Orchestra. His doctoral lecture recital, Benny Goodman's Commissioning Of Clarinet Concertos, was performed for the International Clarinet Society's Clarfest in the summer of 1991, and then again for the British Society of Clarinetists and Saxophonists in Ripon, England during their 1993 summer meeting. John toured Arizona, Mexico and Puerto Rico as an artist roster member of the Arizona Commission On The Arts with the Sonora Quartet (saxophones) and his own ensemble ConcertissimoHe performed for a decade with the Arizona Musicfest in Carefree, Arizona and performed Ibert's Concertino as alto saxophone soloist with the orchestra. His career includes woodwind, music education and music history teaching at Pima College, University Of Arizona, and Black Hills State University. He was program director and instructor of the Tucson Symphony's Young Composer Project for seven years in the early 1990's enabling middle and high school students to compose works and hear them played by the Tucson Symphony Chamber Orchestra. John assisted in founding Opening Minds Through The Arts for the Tucson Unified School district and co-authored a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education, funding the program for it's first three years. His current teaching position is as an Arts Integration Specialist at Howell Elementary. This December John is completing thirty years as director of childrens' and youth music at St. Mark's Presbyterian Church in Tucson.