2009 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
John C. McNeur
Executive Director and Founder
Metropolitan Youth Orchestra
of New York
If music is the universal language, then John C. McNeur speaks it fluently. A self-described student of the world, McNeur set out 15 years ago to share his experiences with young aspiring musicians by creating the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York (MYO).
In the first year, 14 students enrolled in the fledgling program, which rehearsed in the basement of a church in Manhasset. Today, MYO comprises more than 500 student musicians, five orchestras and three vocal ensembles — all of which perform at the region’s most respected venues, including Carnegie Hall, Tilles Center, Adelphi Performing Arts Center and Cathedral of the Incarnation. McNeur has led MYO on many summer performance tours to China, Central and Eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
McNeur’s reach and impact can be measured by the number of students taught, the success of alumni who have gone on to receive scholarships at the nation’s best colleges, repertories and music halls, and a 32-year career dedicated to sharing his passion for music and the performing arts.
He is the director of music and performing arts for Herricks Public Schools, was national chairman of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, is a past president of the Nassau Music Educators Association and founder of the committee responsible for the annual Balanced Mind curriculum.
McNeur served as general chair for the Music Educators National Conference All-Eastern Honors Ensembles—organizing festivals in Rochester, Baltimore and at Carnegie Hall. In addition, he served as conductor of several youth orchestras in Connecticut and New York. He has twice been awarded the International Tri-M Distinguished Service Award. In 2008, he was honored as the “Educator of Note” by the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.
He lives in Glen Head with his wife, Clare. They have three children and two grandchildren.