Grammy award winner part of Conservatory’s exceptional spring schedule

Conservatory students perform on stage

Grammy award-winning recording engineer Leslie Ann Jones of Skywalker Sound studio will join University of the Pacific in April as an artist-in-residence, part of a rich lineup of artists and performances planned for the spring semester. The full schedule is available online.

Jones will work with sound recording classes and mentor students April 3-7 as part of the annual Pacific Music Business Conference. She also will hold a master class on the recording and mixing process and participate in a panel with other industry professionals April 7. The session is open to the Pacific community.  

“It is the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Benom Plumb, program director for Music Industry Studies and Music Management. “There are people across the country in the recording arts who would love to be in the same room with Leslie Ann Jones to soak up her knowledge and her experience. She is the best of the best.”

The annual Henry and Carol Zeiter Piano Competition returns Jan. 29. The event has drawn talented young pianists from around California since the 1970s. Finalists are chosen through video-recorded submissions and invited to compete in live auditions, which are open to the public. 

Laura Jackson, music director and conductor of the Reno Philharmonic, will lead the University Symphony Orchestra as its guest conductor-in-residence for a Feb. 4 performance, which will include the work of African American composer Florence Price.

“Intentionally, the Conservatory is expanding the voices and cultures we celebrate in concert settings, classrooms and lessons,” said Dean Peter Witte. “Our students will give Pacific’s first performance of Price’s Symphony No. 1, the first symphony penned by a Black American woman to be performed by a major American orchestra.”

Grammy-nominated chamber ensemble Dover Quartet will perform Feb. 5. The group was named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine.

At the Pacific Jazz Festival March 3-4, students will be joined by guest-artist Melissa Aldana, a Grammy-nominated Chilean saxophonist called “one of the more exciting young tenor saxophonists today” by the New York Times.

Pacific’s award-winning opera theatre program presents the Broadway hit “Into the Woods” March 30-April 2. 

Last year’s spring opera production took first place in its division of the National Opera Association’s production competition.

“We always hope to make our latest performance our best one, so hopefully this will be just as great,” said Ria Patel ’25, a vocal performance major who plays the role of Rapunzel. “We have an amazing cast, and it’s great to see the storyline come together. Everyone knows their music, so we’re getting into character development and the relationships the characters have with each other.” 

The Marian Anderson String Quartet, which played at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center for President Bill Clinton’s inaugural celebration, will perform April 30. 

The talents of Pacific students will be showcased throughout the semester, including at the University Symphony Orchestra concert on April 29. The winners of Pacific’s Concerto Competition will perform as soloists: Brylan Finley ’23 (mezzo-soprano), Ealaph Tabbaa ’23 (bassoon) and Braydon Ross ’23 (horn). 

The work of student-composer Logan Fleece ’23, winner of the Pacific Band Composition, will premiere April 15 at Pacific Wind Bands, featuring Kevin Day as composer-in-residence. Day’s work has been performed at Carnegie Hall and the Rachmaninov Hall in Russia, among other major venues.

Conservatory of Music alumni will return to the stage for several events, including the Pacific Jazz Ensemble featuring alumnus and pianist Glenn Zaleski on April 5, the Choir Concert on April 23 and the 50th anniversary of the Pacific Arts Woodwind Quintet on May 6. 

Most Conservatory events are free for Pacific students, $5 for seniors and $10 for general admission. Opera Theatre productions are $20. Additional information is available online