The Sun Sets in San Francisco

As the end of my six-year stay in San Francisco draws near, the past finds its way to the present, as memories of life experienced here come to the surface. San Francisco has taught me a great deal about life and art, and the lessons learned here will certainly be taken wherever I go in the future.

I will miss its charm, its beauty, its arts scene, its warm embrace of people from all walks. Most of all, I will miss my friends, teachers, and fellow music-makers who call this place “home.”

Luckily, there’s so much to which I am looking forward, as I embark on an exciting journey, turning the page to a new and pivotal chapter. The University of Oregon is my destination, where I have been offered some incredible opportunities. I will be teaching a Finale notation course, working as a T.A. for beginning aural skills classes, and doing some directing of the two new music ensembles at the university.

Beyond Oregon, my music is finding its way to the east coast via Choral Chameleon, which will premiere three works throughout its 2009-2010 season: Sempiterna in its entirety on November 1 (in addition to a performance of Giant Mirror), a new Christmas work on December 12, and a large work for chorus, soloists, piano 4 hands, harp, percussion, and a melodic instrument on April 18. Another east coast performance will take place at the National Collegiate Choral Organization’s Third Conference at Yale University on November 5, where Vance George will conduct a multi-school choir in a performance of “In pace” from Sempiterna.

On the compositional back-burner are some exciting projects, which promise to lead to future premieres. Nearing completion is a temporarily-untitled violin sonata, written for my good friend, Valerie Tung, a Seattle-based violinist. I plan to write a chamber symphony for the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, which will include Can’t Sit Still as a movement. For another good friend, Brett Banducci, a Los Angeles-based composer and violist, I will be writing a piece for solo viola and electronics, to be premiered/performed in Los Angeles and Oregon.

Taking a glimpse at the future, there’s a lot to look forward to!

Now looking back to the recent past, the highlight of the summer was the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, at which I met exceptionally talented and friendly composers, conductors, and performers. Though I was present for only six days due to a professional commitment, the experience affected me deeply on personal and artistic levels.

Can’t Sit Still was featured on one of the Symposium concerts, performed by the American Creators Ensemble, conducted by Scott J. Ordway. Because I had to leave the festival early, I unfortunately missed the premiere of the piece. I’m happy to say I got my hands on the recording, which may be listened to by pushing the play button below:

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This collection of performers did an incredible job with my rather difficult composition. In fact, they premiered 72 new works over the course of the Symposium, and they deserve a medal for such a staggering achievement! Thanks to all.

Looking back, looking forward, it all gives evidence to the fact that I have so many reasons to be grateful. These past six years in San Francisco, and the next four in Oregon, will combine to form a truly exceptional decade.

Having said all of that, it’s time to say good bye, San Francisco. Thank you for everything.

2 Replies to “The Sun Sets in San Francisco”

  1. JP! you’re a special guy who has the ability to infuse a great radiance of soul into your music, your life and your being! For that, it’s a pleasure to know you.

    Good luck in Oregon.

    Amazing things are happening!


  2. I will miss you Jeff. I consider myself lucky to have met and been taught by you.

    (On a totally unrelated note, I drove by Eugene on I-5 today. It looks like a nice natural setting.)

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