Sean O'Neill  Musical Director

Sean O’Neill


Sean comes from the Scottish Border town of Selkirk where he first began playing the Tuba at Selkirk High School. He went on to study at the RNCM with Stuart Roebuck of the Halle orchestra. In 1977 he was awarded a RNCM Hiles Medal for Orchestral Playing and was appointed Principal Tuba with the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera that same year, a post he held for 25 years. Sean was the first player to successfully integrate the “Cimbasso” a brass instrument of Verdi’s time, into British Opera Orchestras.

A period of freelancing followed from 2002 with a wide variety of orchestras and diverse musical genres from Scottish Chamber Orchestra to Birmingham Royal Ballet, BBC Concert Orchestra and London Philharmonic amongst many others throughout the UK and abroad.

Sean has developed a parallel career in education and has held visiting brass teaching positions alongside his professional playing career. First at Monmouth School in 1978 and since then Caerleon School, Wells Cathedral School and RWCMD Junior Department amongst others. He has been responsible for forming wind and brass bands to national level and directed the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales in 2012.  He has taken both Cardiff County and Gwent Youth Wind Orchestras to perform at Carnegie Hall, New York on three occasions, twice performing in gala showcase concerts with Euphonium virtuoso David Childs as guest soloist.

Sean has recently taken early retirement after 10 years with Gwent Music Service where he was Head of Brass and Wind Departments.

He continues to work as a freelance consultant, Tuba Tutor at RWCMD, Cardiff University, Director of Abergavenny Borough Brass Band and now Musical Director of the Newport Orchestra.


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