John “Peter” Dundon Jr.


Dr. John “Peter” Dundon Jr. passed away at his home in Onancock on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. Born July 30, 1944, in Venice, Fla., he was the son of the late John Peter Dundon and the late Janet LeHentz Watson Dundon.

Peter began his musical journey at one of the most prestigious music schools in the United States, the Eastman School of Music, graduating in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. He continued his studies at Carnegie-Mellon University, focusing on performance, and attained his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1968. Peter earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in performance and chamber music from the University of Arizona in 1970.

Over the course of nearly six decades, Peter shared his remarkable gifts with others as a teacher, performer, and conductor. He taught music at various public and private schools, primarily on the East Coast, as well as at numerous colleges and universities, including Cal Poly Humboldt (1972-74), the University of Georgia (1981-84), Old Dominion University (1989-90), and the College of William and Mary. 

His professional orchestra experience as principal or assistant principal cellist included the Honolulu Symphony, the Savannah Symphony, and the North Carolina Symphony. He also played violin and viola at a professional level, holding the principal second chair in the Humboldt and Athens Symphonies, and as a section player with the Savannah, Jacksonville, Macon, and Virginia symphonies.

Among Peter’s many musical passions was founding and conducting community orchestras. In the early 1970s he founded and conducted the Somerset County Community College Orchestra in New Jersey. In the 1980s, he founded and conducted the North East Georgia Youth Orchestra and the Beaufort, N.C., chamber orchestra.  This tradition of sharing his love for music with the community culminated in the founding and directing of the Orchestra of the Eastern Shore from 1999 until 2004.

Peter is survived by his brothers and sister, William D. Dundon, of Onancock, Thomas A. Dundon, of San Marcos, Texas, and Ann L. Dundon and her husband, Robert Else, of Santa Barbara, Calif., as well as nieces and nephew Caroline, Ravelle, and Logan Dundon.

A gathering in honor of the musical legacy of Dr. Peter Dundon will be held at the Historic Onancock School on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at 7 p.m.

Contributions in Peter’s memory may be made to the Orchestra of the Eastern Shore, P.O. Box 27, Onancock, VA 23417,

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements are by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.

Previous articleGladys Ward
Next articleEastern Shore Post | March 15, 2024