The new LSO President heard the symphonic sounds for the first time at a concert on July 4

Longmont Symphony Orchestra Chairman Tim O’Neill. (Photo credit: Ike Gill, SES Photography)

Growing up in Rye, New York, Tim O’Neill wasn’t a big fan of symphonic music, but when he heard the Longmont Symphony Orchestra’s annual Fourth of July concert in Thompson Park about 15 years ago, he was touched by the art form.

“When I was growing up, my mother always told me that you could tell the quality of the city you lived in by its symphony orchestra,” O’Neill said in an interview.

It’s safe to say that O’Neill was impressed by what he heard and saw from the orchestra that Independence Day.

After serving on the board of the Longmont Symphony Orchestra since 2019, O’Neill was recently elected board chairman by his colleagues. He took office on Monday.

“I enjoyed doing it,” O’Neill said. “I really believe in this organization.”

O’Neill has lived in Longmont since 2007 and previously studied law at CU Boulder. He currently works as general counsel for the St. Vrain Valley School District.

Several performances by the Longmont Symphony Orchestra will take place at the Vance Brand Civic Auditorium at Skyline High School, 600 E. Mountain View Ave., in Longmont.

O’Neill said the Longmont Symphony Orchestra is in a very good position and credits its continued success to Stevan Kukic, former board chairman, and Elliot Moore, current conductor and music director, as well as all of the organization’s musicians.

“I think it’s a very exciting time for the Longmont Symphony Orchestra to have (O’Neill) take the baton,” Moore said Friday. “We’re really on a roll right now, and (O’Neill) is a person that I think will really help us do well going forward and keep that momentum going.”

O’Neill said there is still room to expand the symphony’s reach to other communities, particularly those in the greater St. Vrain Valley area.

“People in Erie, Frederick and Firestone…” O’Neill said. “I think we can serve a larger community than just (Longmont) itself.”

The Longmont Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1966 and performed four concerts in its first full season. Today, it performs numerous concerts each year, including seven performances at the Vance Brand Civic Auditorium, two free Fourth of July concerts, a Christmas performance, and two performances of The Nutcracker with the Boulder Ballet.

Although O’Neill did not grow up as a big fan of symphonic music, he now plays numerous musical instruments, including piano and guitar.

“A symphony … is a great thing for a community,” O’Neill said. “You can bring the community together to enjoy live music of any kind – I think that’s a good thing.”