The Program of
Senior Composition Recital

A recital was not a required part of the undergraduate curriculum for composers at the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific, where I went for my Bachelor of Music degree. At UOP the curricular opportunity for a student composer's music was non-existent, with exceptions. I felt that I needed more experience doing contemporary music, and not least my own. Interactions with the other students made it clear that it was a liability in credibility for a Senior not to do a recital; the fact that composers were not required to do a recital was not a favor, but a shame. Furthermore, I and others, including the University, had spent a lot of money on my education and for not one practical, dedicated seed of future programming to come out of it seemed to me to be less than I had a right to expect.

One of my professors said he would sing a set of three of my songs; he dropped out at the last minute, taking with him the only score that might still be in existence. He told me when he later programmed them for another occasion but I couldn't make it to the performance.
He mentioned to me years later that he thought the score was in a box in Finland, and that maybe he could find it for me. My roommate Steven Skinner, an experienced choral conductor who agreed to conduct my motet, declined to follow through on his offer of help, so I conducted the piece myself. Dana Lines later frankly admitted that she sabotaged the tape that was made of her performance of the Sonatina for Solo Violin, actually throwing it away in the garbage, without my ever hearing it. So the first half of the program suffers due to its participants' lack of commitment, or actual ill-will. I later revised the motet, and might slightly revise the other pieces on the program. None of my teachers came to the event, which was given during the day and was thus optimally convenient to attend.

Probably the best-known participant in the recital was the Mezzo soprano Linda Watson, who now sings Wagner roles in major companies all over the world.


CF's Composition Desk

Posted December 8, 2009. Last updated 1/11/2010.