The Piano Department at Pacific has always been one of the mainstays of the Conservatory. Our pianists are trained by dedicated faculty members educated at the leading conservatories and music schools of the United States and Canada. Their own performing careers include concert tours of much of the world, not only throughout the United States but extending from Western and Eastern Europe to the Far East.
One of the unique aspects of our program is the team teaching that we do with our performance majors. Weekly performance classes which combine the two major studios allow for input from both of the full-time piano professors and feedback for the student performers from their peers. In the junior and senior year performance majors study with both of the full-time professors of piano, increasing their exposure to different perspectives of music-making and leading to a “double mentorship” experience for all of our performance graduates. Private lessons are offered in accompanying, and an active and varied experience in chamber music is a key part of the curriculum, with coaching not only by the piano professors but also by members of the string and woodwind faculty.
In addition to the performance classes held weekly, there are other opportunities for solo and ensemble performance through the Conservatory-wide performance class called “Solo Class.” Performance majors give junior and senior solo recitals and music education majors give half-recitals in their senior year. As often as twice a year, the Stockton Symphony gives the chance for our piano students to participate in master classes with its guest artists. A concerto competition for seniors provides the opportunity for winners to perform with the University Symphony at the Commencement Ceremony. Our piano students have won the Music Teachers Association of California Northern California Concerto Competition on several occasions, and gone on to win the state competition as well. Many of our performance majors have gone on to pursue graduate degrees at such leading graduate programs as the Eastman School, Peabody Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and the music schools at Indiana University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Southern California.
The performance curriculum includes an hour of private instruction weekly for freshman and sophomore majors, and two hours a week for juniors and seniors. Private instruction in accompanying and coaching of chamber ensembles rounds out the performance training. Two semesters of keyboard literature provide a broad perspective on the literature for our instrument, and a course in piano pedagogy prepares students with training for the piano teaching profession.
Henry and Carol Zeiter Piano Competition
The University of the Pacific Conservatory co-sponsors this exciting competition for high school pianists in their freshman through senior years. The competition occurs every January, preceded by a recorded audition round with a mid-December deadline. The prize fund totals $2500.00 and this distinguished event has attracted many of the best pianists in the state as participants.
Frank H. Wiens, Piano Program Director and Professor of Piano, 1976
M.M., University of Michigan, 1971;
B.M., University of Michigan, 1970
Student of Benning Dexter, Gyorgy Sandor, Harald Logan, and John Perry
Lecturer in Piano, 2001
D.M., University of Montreal;
M.M., Peabody Conservatory of Music;
B.M., University of British Columbia.
Lecturer in Piano and Accompanying, 2004
B.M. & M.M., University of Southern California;
D.M. Northwestern University
Lecturer in Class Piano & Piano Pedagogy, 2004.
B.M. & M.M. Brigham Young University;
D.M.A. University of Arizona