William McNeiland was born and raised in Texas. He began playing tuba and string bass in junior high school and during his high school years began playing double bass with the Amarillo Symphony. He earned the Bachelor and Masters degrees in music education from the University of Illinois, and taught band and orchestra in elementary and secondary schools in Texas and Illinois.
In 1969 Mr. McNeiland joined the music faculty at Jacksonville University. The following year he served as Resident Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony during its rebuilding year. Then he became Principal Bass and Assistant Conductor and continued in those positions for over twenty-five years. A dramatic highlight came when he was asked on short notice to conduct several performances of the Nutcracker ballet when the regular conductor had unexpected major heart surgery.
Mr. McNeiland has been active in nearly every area of musical life in north Florida. He has served as president of the Delius Association and the Florida Orchestra Association. He has been much in demand as clinician and adjudicator at district and state music festivals. He has conducted youth orchestras and all-state orchestras in Alabama and Florida, and for six years was resident conductor at the Sewanee Summer Music Center in Tennessee.
Retiring from Jacksonville University in 2007, he was appointed conductor of the orchestra at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. After completing three years in that position, he is delighted to have this opportunity to work with the St. Augustine Community Orchestra.