Photo - John Beeman

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News and Performances of My Works:

  • RECENT PERFORMANCE, the outstanding Ives Collective, performed my composition Luminosity, for piano trio on June 3, 2017 at the Lucie Stern Ballroom in Palo Alto, California. Luminosity focuses on different aspects of natural light. A video of movements 1 and 2 of this performance may be viewed at: youtube
  • Ishi Scene III, from my new opera about the last survivor of the Yahi people, was performed in concert on May 21, 2016 by the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and chorus at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco. This performance, conducted by John Kendall Bailey, featured Andres Ramirez as Ishi, Sepp Hammer as the anthropologist, Waterman, and Peter Webb as the Sheriff. Ishi was brought to the museum of anthropology in San Francisco in 1911 where he lived out the remainder of his life. A video of this performance of Scene 3 may be viewed at: youtube
  • Last year's performance of Scene 2 may be viewed at: youtube
  • RECENT CONCERT, The Divisa Ensemble, performed music by composers from the National Association of Composers, U.S.A. San Francisco chapter on June 27, 2015. The concert took place at the Lucie Stern Theater, Palo Alto, California. My composition, Introduction and Dance, for flute, oboe, violin, viola and cello was performed. Listen to Mp3
  • NEW for strings, "Renaissance Dance," for student string orchestra, grade 2. Let your students imagine themselves back in the time of Shakespeare and introduce them to Renaissance harmonies and dance rhythms. This uplifting, original composition captures the spirit of Renaissance music. Every instrument gets a chance to play the delightful melody. May be ordered from jwpepper.com Listen to Mp3
  • Recent orchestra composition, "Footsteps of Ishi," for student string orchestra, grade 1. Ishi, the last Native American of the Yahi tribe, came out of hiding in California in 1911. Ishi lived the rest of his life at the Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco where he taught the public about the Yahi culture. This haunting composition uses only first position and simple rhythms. The minor modality beautifully creates a Native American feeling. Aligns with social studies curriculum. Listen to Mp3
  • NEW for SATB choir, a cappella, How Did The Rose? The text comes from an exquisite poem by Hafiz, the 14th century Persian poet, translated by Daniel Ladinsky. I hope this setting captures the timeless beauty of the poem. May be ordered here or at jwpepper.com/myscore Listen to Mp3
  • I just finished a composition for two part chorus called One Seed, about the everyday miracle of a plant growing from a single seed. One Seed, suited for your developing children's choir, is the perfect choice for a secular holiday concert or a nature theme program. May be ordered here or at jwpepper.com/myscore Listen to Mp3
  • A new choral work, Fiat Lux, about the Arab Spring democracy movement was premiered by the Colliers Wood Chorus on December 1, 2012 at St. John's Church, London. Fiat Lux, was also included in the First Readings Project in St. Paul, Minnesota on January 17, 2013. Listen to Mp3
  • I just completed a new orchestral work called Sprites. Red sprites, blue jets and elves are unusual visual weather phenomena that occur above thunderstorms. Sprites was premiered by the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra on May 4 , 2013, 8:00 p.m. at Lick-Wilmerding Auditorium in San Francisco. Listen to Mp3
  • Two compositions for student string orchestra, Irish Fiddles and Toccata, are now published by Grand Mesa Music. They may be purchased at JWPepper.com. To listen to Irish Fiddles click here: Listen to Mp3 To listen to Toccata click here: Listen to Mp3
  • Recent Performances of My Works:

  • Butterfly for soprano, clarinet, violin and piano (words by Carla Brooke) was premiered on November 2, 2013 by Maria Mikheyenko, soprano. The performance took place at the Community Music Center in San Francisco. Listen to Mp3
  • An Irish Blessing, for SATB a cappella chorus was premiered on May 25-26, 2013 by Convivium conducted by Eric Tuan on a National Association of Composers, U.S.A. concert in Los Altos and San Jose, Calfornia. Listen to Mp3
  • Luminosity, a new composition for violin, cello and piano was premiered on National Association of Composers, U.S.A. concerts on November 6, 2010 and November 5, 2011 at the Palo Alto Art Center. Listen to movements one and two: Listen to Mp3
  • Listen to movements three and four: Listen to Mp3
  • Four Retablos, for soprano, flute, cello and piano was a vocal division winner of the Boston Metro Opera's Contemporary Americana Festival. It was performed on May 6, 2011 at Hope Central Church in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Four Retablos, has also been performed in San Francisco, Seattle, Bakersfield, Palo Alto, and Marfa, Texas. To listen to a movement, click here: Listen to Mp3
  • Serendipity, a new orchestral piece, was premiered by the Mission Chamber Orchestra on May 23, 2010, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, California. It was performed again by the Mission Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m. The concert took place at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose, California. Listen to Mp3
  • Fancy Free, for clarinet and strings, was performed on June 11, 2010 by the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra at Old First Church in San Francisco. Michael McDonagh on Sequenza 21 called it "carefully written and expressive." Listen to Mp3
  • New compositions for choir available now! May be purchased here or from JWPepper.com

  • Fiat Lux, a new uplifting choir composition, was inspired by the world democracy movements including the Arab Spring and Occupy movements. It uses the Latin creation text from Genesis which is later juxtaposed against English words about the struggles to end repression. The Westminster Quarters bell song is also heard. SATB, a cappella, with piano reduction. Listen to Mp3
  • Break Forth, O beauteous heav'nly light, is a new translation of the Johann Rist text. Modal, in 6/8 meter, it has a madrigal-like feeling. Hand drum and finger cymbals can easily be played by choir members. A wonderful upbeat carol for Christmas! Listen to Mp3
  • An Irish Blessing, is a surprising and rich setting of the familiar Irish text. Features soprano and tenor soli. An uplifting and spiritual concert piece. Listen to Mp3
  • A Child Wonders, For children's chorus (two part). "Why is the sky blue? Why do the stars shine?" This lovely two part composition with piano ponders questions we all ask as children.
  • Ilu Finu Malei Shirah, For chorus (SATB) with divisi. "Ilu Finu Malei Shirah," (if our mouths were filled with song) also known as, "Nishmat Kol Chai, (the soul of every living being) goes back to the first century at the time of the Jewish temple. With piano reduction.
  • Nature's Beauty, For chorus (SATB) with limited divisi. The text comes from a letter by Beethoven! During his countryside retreats, Beethoven seemed to take peaceful refuge in nature, "surrounded by nature's beauty often I sit for hours." Uses a brief quotation from the Pastoral Symphony.
  • Sempervirens, For chorus (SATB) with limited divisi. Sempervirens literally means "always green," an apt description of the majestic California redwood tree. This powerful composition pays homage to this great tree, the oldest living thing. Listen to Mp3
  • Go to my "Shopsite" to securely purchase music or contact me about ordering pdfs.Purchase music securely
  • New Band and String Orchestra Music for Students Available for Purchase

  • River Suite (Strings, Grade 2) JUST COMPLETED, this short three movement suite (duration 5:05) depicts a river rafting trip. From the gentle "Drifting Downstream" to the "River of Mystery" to the "Rolling Rapids," your orchestra will love to play this picturesque composition. Listen to Mp3. movement 1
  • Alchemy (Band, Grade 2) ALCHEMY IS HERE! Alchemy means having transforming or enchanting power. Recently completed Alchemy for band is an energetic well-crafted composition that your students will love. Here are some actual student comments: "Alchemy is mysterious and fun but challenging as well. Its tune made you want to keep playing! I loved Alchemy! It is a very exciting song!" Listen to Mp3
  • Rock In Time (Band, Grade 2) "The premiere went pretty fantastic and the crowd really enjoyed your piece." Written in the style of "Let's Go Band" and "Pep Rally Rock," it begins with a classic riff in the bass instruments. Trumpets soar above with a jazzy melody. All instruments get a chance to play the tune. Your students will love it! Listen to Mp3
  • NEW ORCHESTRA PIECE! Serendipity, (for Woodwinds and Strings, Grade 4) Challenge your students with this uplifting composition for orchestra. Great as a concert closer! Also, available for concert band. Listen to Mp3
  • Irish Fiddles (Strings, Grade 1 1/2) All instruments play this delightful melody based on the Irish fiddle tune, "Denis Murphy." Students also imitate the sound of "the pipes" and will love to play guitar-style pizzicato. Great as a concert closer! Listen to Mp3
  • A La Mode (Strings, Grade 3) Students say this ditty reminds them of "Pirates of the Caribbean" and the "St. Paul Suite." A wonderful opportunity to perfect 6/8 bowings, this energetic composition would also make an impressive competition piece! Listen to Mp3
  • Scottish Variations (Strings, Grade 2) "Pulled out your Scottish tunes...It's WONDERFUL!" (Cathy Humphers Smith, Music for Minors) This is a lively composition based on a familiar melody your students will recognize. All sections will enjoy playing their own variation of this traditional Scottish tune. Listen to Mp3
  • Toccata (Strings, Grade 1 1/2) NEW! Your students will really enjoy this clever arrangement of the famous Frescobaldi composition. Listen to Mp3
  • Price includes score, 3 sets of parts (duplicate as needed) and postage. Purchase music securely

Find out about my other compositions.

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About My Compositions:

My current focus is on writing music that is melodic and yet, still sounds new and fresh.

In my music I attempt to create feelings, impressions, moods, colors which are natural. By "natural" I mean sincere expressions of life, people, emotions and nature -- not artificial, intellectual, imposed-upon musical creations. In this sense almost all of my music is programmatic.

In compositions about nature such as Desert Sketches, The Rogue River: A Suite for Chamber Orchestra and River Suite, this is easier to achieve: the harmonies, rhythms, colors and textures of the music are meant to give an impression of nature. The impression is not literal, but instead should stimulate the listener on an emotional and perhaps subliminal level.

In my operas and musical theatre works, the "natural" element of the music comes from another source. In The Answering Machine, Law Offices and The Great American Dinner Table, it is the current of the drama which drives the music. The actions and emotions of the characters should be intimately connected with the music. The music should serve the drama, not subserviently, but as an equal powerful force.

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Thank you for visiting my webpages, and welcome! On the following pages, I have put together more information about me and about my musical compositions.

For those of you who already are well acquainted with me and my work, you may find many of the things on these pages familiar. But who knows, you may learn something new about me and my music as you navigate this site. And, of course, as new pieces or performances are announced, this will be a good place to come to to learn about them.

And for those of you who don't know me, or don't know very much about me, I hope that these pages will serve as an introduction to me and my work. Whether this site is your first introduction to me, or whether you've just recently met me, heard me perform, or heard my compositions, I welcome you to this site. My goal has been to make this site interesting and stimulating for you as well as to the folks that already know me.

And now, please choose one of the on this page, to start your journey through my site.

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