John Snavely is a native Tucsonan who began playing in the TSO as a freshman at the U. of A. (1969) when he auditioned and conductor Gregory Millar handed him a plastic Bundy bass clarinet and said: Play this, it will be good for you!
The previous year John as a high school senior had performed a solo with the Tucson Youth Symphony, then a part of the Tucson Symphony, and also had won an audition for playing in the American Youth Performs orchestra in Carnegie Hall. Leopold Stokowski was supposed to conduct, however he was ill and instead Carmen Dragon took the baton. John earned a masters degree in clarinet from Northern Arizona Universtiy and a doctorate in clarinet from the U. of A. He was for many years an artist on the roster of the Arizona Commission on the Arts with the Sonora Saxophone Quartet and later with his own ensemble Concertissimo. John performed for fifteen years in the Carefree MusicFest, now the Arizona MusicFest. John was a member of the original Disneyland All American College Band. He assisted in forming Opening Minds through the Arts in TUSD and is in his 11th year as an Arts Integration Specialist at Howell Elementary. As well he founded and conducts Sonora Winds and for the past six years had been the director of the Green Valley Concert Band. John is the children’s and youth music minister at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church.