"... there's nothing like
- Billie Thatcher
Mr. O’Connell is a native of New Jersey and is a graduate of the West Chester University School of Music, with graduate studies in at the College Of New Jersey and Villanova University. He studied composition with the late Frank Hunter, musical director of the Mike Douglas Show. Playing piano professionally since age 16, he has composed several commissioned original works for school band, and is still writing, arranging, and transcribing in sunny Florida.
Recently retired after 35 years of music education, Mr. O’Connell was the band director at Eyer Junior High School in Macungie, PA and at Saucon Valley High School, in Hellertown, PA, where he was responsible for the award winning Marching Band, Concert Band, Pit Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, and Elementary Band. While a high school director, Mr. O’Connell conducted semi-professional pit orchestras in over 25 musicals, including “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat”, “Crazy For You”, “Grease”, “Fiddler on the Roof", “Oklahoma”, “Evita”, “The Wiz”, “Honk”, “Godspell”, and “West Side Story”.
Kevin was Choir Director at the First UCC in Hellertown, PA for 18 years and Organist and Choir Director at Christ Church UCC in Bethlehem, PA, directing the Christmas and Easter Cantatas with full professional orchestras. He is presently the Organist and Director of Music at the Congregational Church Of The Villages in Summerfield, FL.
He performed professionally with the pit of the Broadway tour of “Grease”. Touring Europe with American Music Abroad students, he served as Jazz Band Director on two European Tours.
A show pianist since 1979, Mr. O’Connell has performed with such personalities as Joan Rivers, Bobby Rydell, Julius LaRosa, Henny Youngman, Pat Cooper, and Soupy Sales. He was an active player in the Philadelphia area performing with CTO Orchestras, and Real Diamond. He has done commercials and several recordings.
Presently performing concerts in the Villages, FL with vocalist Billie Thatcher and his own Jazz Trio, he has already played shows at the Ocala Civic Theatre and The Ice House Theater in Mt. Dora, FL. He is still programming synthesizers and performing yearly at the “Freddy Awards,” a nationally acclaimed TV Special on WFMZ- TV, in Allentown, PA. He has two sons; Michael who lives in Rochester NY, and Ryan who lives in Los Angeles, CA.