The Baltimore Sun

Appointed artistic director and conductor of the Handel Choir of Baltimore in 2004, Melinda O'Neal has been praised for her "lucid and musical understanding of the score," "moving and satisfying interpretations" and her "stylish and clear manner on the podium." A Berlioz specialist and an aficionado of Mozart, O'Neal also is professor of music at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., where she teaches courses in conducting and music theory.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

I appreciated the message of values of doing the right thing. My father was from the South and it brings up my Southern roots. Although I grew up in Washington, D.C., I spent a lot of time in the South.

"Berlioz" by David Cairns

This is a two-volume biography: The Making of An Artist and Servitude and Greatness. Berlioz is quite often a misunderstood composer. He's often characterized as weird. But the heart, intellect and imagination of the man are remarkable.

"1791: Mozart's Last Year" by H.C. Robbins Landon

It's the book that brings the composer to life. You get a better grounding in the historical-cultural context. ... It's very poignant.

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