The Original “Flying Tigers”

Flying-TigersA FREE pre-concert lecture

The lecture will include untold story of the pioneer aviators of Princeton University who learned to fly before the war and ultimately flew and fought in “The War to End All Wars” (WW I), as well as tales on the Battle of Britain (WW II). The lecture will be presented by Michael O’Neal, President of the American Society of Aviation Artists. Mr. O’Neal’s and his fellow aviation artists’ works will be on display at the lecture and concert.

Michael O’Neal

Michael specializes in early aviation subjects from the dawn of flight to the end of World War One. As a historian, his work has appeared in the Journal of the League of WW I Aviation Historians Over the Front, and on the “Wings Over New Jersey” television program. In 1980 he was awarded a grant by the NJ Historical Commission for work on the “NJ Aviators, 1914-1918” a complete record of NJ natives in the Air Service during WWI. Michael has served as Chairman of the Aviation History Subcommittee of the NJ Aviation Advisory Council. The subcommittee’s task is to preserve and promote aviation history throughout the state of NJ. In this role he has lectured to high school and local aviation history groups about early aviation and it’s impact on warfare. He now serves on the Museums Board of Trustees.

An avid artist his whole life, Michael joined the American Society of Aviation Artists in 1991. His paintings have appeared in numerous local and national exhibits in the U.S. and hang in private collections, local galleries and the Group Historian’s office at Langley Air Force Base. He has served Board of Trustees of the ASAA and as the ASAA Scholarship Program Chairman. He is currently Treasurer of the organization. He has also held a private pilot’s certificate since 1979 and owns and flies a 1930 Fleet 7 open cockpit biplane.His paintings have appeared in Over the Front, the journal of League of WWI Aviation Historians along with his own original research. His work has also appeared in WW I Aero – The Journal of the Early Aeroplane, Aviation History Magazine, the Newark Star Ledger, North Brunswick Post, the Princeton Recollector and the Charlottesville (Va.) Daily Progress newspapers.

In 1998 his one man show of original artwork opened at the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and in November 2000 he reprised the display this time supplemented with original WW I Aviation uniforms and memorabilia from the families of NJ natives who flew during WW I and his own private collection.

Scott Whitener

Scott Whitener, Professor Emeritus of Music in the Mason Gross School of the Arts of Rutgers University, is a graduate of the Juilliard School, the University of Michigan, and received his doctorate at Rutgers. At Juilliard, he was first trumpet of the Juilliard Orchestra under the distinguished French conductor, Jean Morel, who influenced his conducting. He began his professional career with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra where he played under Pablo Casals, among others, and later played at the American debut at Carnegie Hall of the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio of Munich under Raphael Kubelik. Dr. Whitener’s book, A Complete Guide to Brass: Instruments and Technique (Schirmer Thomson), now in its third edition, is used at over one hundred universities and is considered the definitive work in the field. He was invited in June, 2006 to present a lecture on playing the trumpet in the high register at the International Trumpet Guild Symposium. Professor Whitener participated in the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble program in Horncastle, England. It was this experience that inspired him to found the Rutgers Brass in 1993. He also studied the interpretation of 16th and 17th century music at Stanford University. Dr. Whitener taught conducting for twenty-four years. Among his former students are Paavo Järvi, principal conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and regular guest conductor of leading orchestras throughout the world, and Gail Lee a guest conductor of orchestras in the Czech Republic and the Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. She was for four years associate conductor of the Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. Professor Whitener was formerly Chair of Brass and continues to serve as Vice Chair of the Department of Music and consultant to the Chair and Dean on a half-time basis.


“The First of the Few” Image courtesy of Charles Thompson, original oil on Canvas 20″x30″


Prince of Peace Lutheran Church