Pacific Wind Bands, CBDNA, March 2024

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Conservatory of Music

Pacific Wind Bands

College Band Directors National Association

2024 Western/Northwestern Division Conference

I’ve loved my time here at Pacific. You have all the resources and support to fully chase your musical dreams. No matter your major, you’ll always be in good hands.
VICTOR ALCARAZ ’25 BM, Music Education

The wind bands have been an invaluable part of my time at Pacific. I’ve made many friends here and I’ve developed so much as a musician. Because the bands’ programming includes many diverse living composers, I had opportunities to work with composers who I might have never met otherwise.

University of the Pacific Wind Bands, Spring 2024

The Conservatory of Music strives to be the finest student-centered music school possible, one that provides students with an increasingly diverse range of cultural perspectives. Through scholarship, education, performance, and in a range of therapeutic and music industry settings, Pacific’s Conservatory creates new music, considers and reconsiders significant histories, and presents works of and about music through live events and emerging media.


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Vu Nguyen, conductor

Bích-Vân Nguyễn, soprano

March 25–28, 2024

College Band Directors National Association

2024 Western/Northwestern Division Conference

Monday, March 25

Arcadia High School, Arcadia, CA Fontana High School, Fontana, CA

Tuesday, March 26

Diamond Bar High School, Diamond Bar, CA Downey Theatre, Downey, CA Santiago High School, Corona, CA

Repertoire will be selected from:

Roma (2010)

Deciduous (2022)

This Cruel Moon (2017)

Dolores, AmeriCan: Symphony for Band (2023)


The Dancer Power to the Powerless ¡Sí Se Puede!

Roma (2010)

Thursday, March 28

College Band Directors National Association

Wednesday, March 27

Hoover High School, Glendale, CA

Valerie Coleman (b. 1970)

Viet Cuong (b. 1990)

John Mackey (b. 1973)

Giovanni Santos (b.1980)

2024 Western/Northwestern Division Conference Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, Las Vegas, NV

Autumn Triptych (2023)

Thu ầm

Thu vịnh

Thu điếu

Valerie Coleman (b. 1970)

Viet Cuong (b. 1990)

Text by Nguyễn Khuyến (1835-1909)

Bích-Vân Nguyễn, soprano

Dolores, AmeriCan: Symphony for Band (2023)


The Dancer Power to the Powerless ¡Sí Se Puede!

Giovanni Santos (b.1980)


Repertoire selected for in this tour features pieces with connections to University of the Pacific located in Stockton, California. Pacific was one of the twenty three members in the 2010 consortium assembled by the College Band Directors National Association for Valerie Coleman’s Roma. Over the last several years, Pacific has hosted several composers to include residencies by Viet Cuong and Giovanni Santos. Cuong’s Autumn Triptych was commissioned by Pacific, University of Memphis, and Washington State University and was premiered at Pacific in fall 2023 with the composer in residence. Dolores, AmeriCan was written by Santos to honor the contributions of labor and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta. Huerta grew up in south Stockton and went on to attend Delta College in the 1950s (then part of Pacific) where she earned her teaching credential.

Coleman: Roma

Valerie Coleman is regarded by many as an iconic artist who continues to pave her own unique path as a composer, Grammy Award-nominated flutist, and entrepreneur. Highlighted as one of the “Top 35 Women Composers” by The Washington Post, she was named Performance Today’s 2020 Classical Woman of the Year, an honor bestowed to an individual who has made a significant contribution to classical music as a performer, composer, or educator. Her works have garnered awards such as the MAPFund, ASCAP Honors Award, Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program, Herb Alpert Ragdale Residency Award, and nominations from The American Academy of Arts and Letters and United States Artists. Umoja, Anthem for Unity was chosen by Chamber Music America as one of the “Top 101 Great American Ensemble Works” and is now a staple of woodwind literature.

Former flutist of the Imani Winds, Coleman is the creator and founder of this acclaimed ensemble whose 24-year legacy is documented and featured in a dedicated exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Along with composer-harpist Hannah Lash, and composer-violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama, she co-founded and currently performs as flutist of the performer-composer trio Umama Womama.

Note by the composer

A nation without a country is the best way to describe the nomadic tribes known as gypsies, or properly called, the Romani. Their traditions, their language (Roma), legends, and music stretch all over the globe, from the Middle East, the Mediterranean region, and the Iberian Peninsula, across the ocean to the Americas. Roma is a tribute to that culture, in five descriptive themes, as told through the eyes and hearts of Romani women everywhere: “Romani Woman,” “Mystic,” “Youth,” “Trickster,” and “History.” The melodies and rhythms are a fusion of styles and cultures: Malagueña of Spain, Argentine Tango, Arabic music, Turkish folk songs, 3/2 Latin claves, and jazz.

Cuong: Deciduous

Called “alluring” and “wildly inventive” by the New York Times, the music of American composer Viet Cuong has been performed on six continents by musicians and ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic, Eighth Blackbird, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Sō Percussion, Alarm Will Sound, Atlanta Symphony, Sandbox Percussion, Albany Symphony, PRISM Quartet, and Dallas Winds, among many others. Cuong’s music has been featured in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center, and his works for wind ensemble


have amassed several hundreds of performances worldwide. Passionate about bringing these different facets of the contemporary music community together, Cuong recently composed a concerto for Eighth Blackbird with the United States Navy Band. Cuong also enjoys exploring the unexpected and whimsical, and he is often drawn to projects where he can make peculiar combinations and sounds feel enchanting or oddly satisfying. His works thus include a snare drum solo, percussion quartet concerto, and double oboe concerto. He is currently the California Symphony’s Young American Composer-in-Residence and the Pacific Symphony’s Composer-in-Residence, and he serves as assistant professor of music composition at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Cuong holds degrees from Princeton University, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Note by the composer

For a long time after my father passed away, I felt like I had “lost my leaves.” In the ways that leaves harness light to create energy for trees and plants, I felt like I had so little left to harness creatively. Many days I feared those leaves would never grow back. After struggling for months to write, I finally found some healing while creating Deciduous. This involved revisiting chord progressions that brought me solace as a child and activating them in textures that I have enjoyed exploring as an adult. The piece cycles through these chord progressions, building to a moment where it’s stripped of everything and must find a way to renew itself. While I continue to struggle with this loss, I have come to understand that healing is not as much of a linear process as it is a cyclical journey, where, without fail, every leafless winter is followed by a spring.

Cuong: Autumn Triptych

Note by the composer

Autumn Triptych is a musical setting of three iconic lyric poems by Nguyễn Khuyến (1834–1909), a Vietnamese scholar, teacher, and poet. “Thu điếu” (Fishing in autumn), “Thu vịnh” (Writing on autumn), and “Thu ầm” (Drinking in autumn) form a melancholy collection

of verses written in response to the colonization of Vietnam in the late nineteenth century.

I was first introduced to Nguyễn’s poems six years ago when composer P.Q. Phan invited me to compose a vocal piece with a chamber ensemble accompaniment for the Vietnamese American Society for Creative Arts and Music (VASCAM). I sought advice from my father on a text to set, and he recommended one of his favorite poems, “Thu điếu.” Vietnamese was my first language, and I spoke no English until I was five, but over the years I had all but completely lost my mother tongue. I knew that the song’s melody would need to be shaped by the tonality of the language, so I relied heavily on my father to make sure that my setting preserved the language of the original verse. Though my father had no training as a musician, he was indispensable in helping me to hone the piece. The full wind ensemble version of “Thu điếu,” commissioned by the US Army Field Band in 2021, was the last project I completed before his death, and in the years since his passing the song’s melody invariably brings him to mind. His absence was felt all the more keenly as I completed the other two songs for the Triptych this year.

In writing the music for “Writing” and “Drinking,” I felt a greater connection to my Vietnamese heritage than perhaps I ever have. Though my brother Nam and I are named in commemoration of our parents’ homeland, it was not a culture we were raised in. A Vietnamese man even once approached me after a concert to say that he had been listening for the sound of Vietnam in my music but had only been able to hear the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is my hope that in these three pieces, the listener might hear some of both, and perhaps in autumn.

Autumn Triptych was commissioned by Vu Nguyen, Albert Nguyen, and Danh Pham and their respective wind ensemble programs at University of the Pacific, University of Memphis, and Washington State University. Thank you to Vu, Albert, and Danh for your encouragement, as well as soprano Bích-Vân Nguyễn, whose beautiful voice richly brings these songs to life.



Thu ầm

Năm gian nhà cỏ thắp le te

Ngõ tối đêm sâu đ óm lập loè

Lưng giậu phất phơ màu khói nhạt

Làn ao lóng lánh bóng trăng loe

Da trời ai nhuộm mà xanh ngắt?

Mắt lão không vầy cũng đỏ hoe

Rượu tiếng rằng hay, hay chả mấy

Độ năm ba chén đã say nhè

Drinking in autumn

Five grass-huts that are low-to-the-ground sort of dwellings

Fireflies flicker in the dark alley late evening

Around the mid of the hedges, veils of light smoky color are floating

Pond ripples glitter under the flashy moonlight

Who dye the sky in bright blue?

This old man eyes aren’t rubbed but still of red hue

My esteemed reputation in handling liquor, not so true

Just about three to five shots, already I am incoherently drunk.

Thu vịnh

Trời thu xanh ngắt mấy tầng cao, Cần trúc lơ phơ gió hắt hiu.

Nước biếc trông như tầng khói phủ, Song thưa để mặc bóng trăng vào.

Mấy chùm trước giậu hoa năm ngoái, Một tiếng trên không ngỗng nước nào?

Nhân hứng cũng vừa toan cất bút, Nghĩ ra lại thẹn với ông Đào.

Writing on autumn

Deep blue sky of autumn reaches several levels high, Sparse miniature bamboo sticks sway in the gentle breeze. Blueish water appears like a layer of smoke cover, Scantily barred window readily lets in the moonlight.

Several clusters of last year flowers hang around the front hedge, A single honk of a goose echoes in the air, from which country is it now?

With inspiration, I am about to put my pen to paper, But then I think of Mr. Đào, I feel inadequate.

Thu điếu

Ao thu lạnh lẽo nước trong veo

Một chiếc thuyền câu bé tẻo teo

Sóng nước theo làn hơi gợn tí

Lá vàng trước gió sẽ đưa vèo

Từng mây lơ lửng trời xanh ngắt

Ngõ trúc quanh co khách vắng teo

Tựa gối ôm cần lâu chẳng được

Cá đâu đớp động dưới chân bèo

—Nguyễn Khuyến (1834–1909)

Fishing in autumn

The fall pond chillingly cold, the water crystal clear

A fishing boat, tiny it appears

Rolling waves through the mist, ripple a little

Yellow leaves in the wind, quietly glide fast

From a deep blue sky hang rows of clouds

On a bamboo path, no one around

Resting on knees, holding the pole for a long time without bites

Somewhere the fishes are, tugging under the duckweed sites.

—trans. Lộc Lê tự Lộc Hồ Dê

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Mackey: This Cruel Moon

John Mackey (he/him) has written for orchestras (Brooklyn Philharmonic, New York Youth Symphony), theater (Dallas Theater Center), and extensively for dance (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Parsons Dance Company, and New York City Ballet), but the majority of his work for the past decade has been for band, and his band catalog now receives annual performances numbering in the thousands. Recent commissions include works for the BBC Singers, the Dallas Wind Symphony; military, high school, middle school, and university bands across America and Japan; and concertos for Joseph Alessi (principal trombone, New York Philharmonic), Christopher Martin (principal trumpet, New York Philharmonic), and Julian Bliss (international clarinet soloist).

Note by the composer

This Cruel Moon is the song of the beautiful and immortal nymph Kalypso, who finds Odysseus near death, washed up on the shore of the island where she lives all alone. She nurses him back to health, and sings as she moves back and forth with a golden shuttle at her loom. Odysseus shares her bed; seven years pass. The tapestry she began when she nursed him becomes a record of their love. But one day Odysseus remembers his home. He tells Kalypso he wants to leave her, to return to his wife and son. He scoffs at all she has given him. Kalypso is heartbroken. And yet, that night, Kalypso again paces at her loom. She unravels her tapestry and weaves it into a sail for Odysseus. In the morning, she shows Odysseus a raft, equipped with the sail she has made and stocked with bread and wine, and calls up a gentle and steady wind to carry him home. Shattered, she watches him go; he does not look back.

Santos: Dolores, AmeriCan: Symphony for Band

Giovanni Santos serves as director of bands and associate professor of music at La Sierra University, where he directs the University Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds, Big Band, and teaches courses in graduate and undergraduate instrumental music education, popular music, conducting and composition. He earned graduate degrees from the University of Southern California (MM) and Florida State University (PhD).

Santos has proudly implemented a yearly wind band conducting workshop at La Sierra University and has worked alongside H. Robert Reynolds, Thomas Lee, Larry Livingston, Travis Cross and Allan McMurray, helping some of the brightest young music educators in the United States. A strong advocate for music education, Santos frequently presents at conferences, school in-service days, classrooms, and as a clinician across the United States, Mexico, and Europe. Santos also maintains a busy guest conducting/ clinician schedule, with recent residencies at the Manhattan School of Music, University of the Pacific, California State University (Fullerton), University of Illinois (Chicago), University of Connecticut, and the Association of Concert Bands.

As a composer, Santos has premiered his works across the United States, Asia, and Europe, including a premiere with the United States Naval Academy Band Brass Ensemble at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. under his baton. His works have garnered many recognitions, including a Meritorious Achievement Award by the Minority Band Directors National Association for “exceptional contributions to the wind band repertory.”

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Note by the composer

This work was composed and dedicated to American civil rights hero, Dolores Huerta. Dolores, AmeriCan: Symphony for Band was commissioned by Dr. Raul Torres and the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley Wind Ensemble for their premiere performance at the Texas Music Educators Association meeting in San Antonio, 2023.

Born in Dawson, New Mexico, Dolores Huerta (b. 1930) lives a life of service as an organizer and activist. A hero to many, she has fought for women’s rights and liberation, non-violence, immigrant rights, and underserved communities, among many other causes. In 2012, President Obama awarded Huerta with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian recognition in the United States. A trailblazer for social justice, alongside Cesar Chavez, she founded the National Farm Workers Association (1962). Despite ethnic and gender discrimition, Huerta is one of the most influential civil rights activists of the twentieth century and continues to be an example of service and good will.

Most of this work is inspired by a documentary dedicated to Huerta and produced in 2017. The documentary is biographical in nature. The first

movement was inspired by a sentiment felt by many immigrants in the United States. Many feel the sense of not being American enough, partly because of the color of their skin, their last name, or their country of origin. In an interview Huerta expressed this same sentiment. The movement explores these feelings with strong harmonic textures and energy, and by quoting the Star Spangled Banner. In this same interview, she was asked what her interests were, outside of her current activism. She mentioned that she loved to dance. The second movement highlights her enthusiasm for dance, music, movement and creativity.

Huerta lives a life of service, a life dedicated to her fight for equity, striving to provide opportunities for power to be given to the powerless. The third movement provides a soundtrack to these efforts. “¡Sí Se Puede!” is the popular quote that Huerta coined to help encourage and inspire a community of organizers, workers, and civil rights activists. This phrase, “Yes we can,” has inspired a nation to fight for equality and equity. The final movement, with rhythmic hints of this popular phrase, also serves as a bold soundtrack, paying homage to her efforts. Dolores, our world is better because of you. Thank you!


Singer-actress-songwriter, producer, television host Bích-Vân Nguyễn is one of the most versatile and sought-after Vietnamese-American artists. She performs in opera, musical theater, and stage productions headlining concerts around the world at prestigious venues such as Kennedy Center, Rainbow Room (Rockefeller Center), Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Musco Center for the Arts, Carpenter Performing Arts Center, and Quan Ngua Stadium (Vietnam), as in South Korea, and Australia. Her notable roles include Muse (lead) in the Off-Broadway musical A World Without Harmony, Mai (lead) in the world premiere of opera What The Horse Eats, lead in the world premiere of the monodrama Count To Ten, Mẹ Mõ and Sùng Bà in the opera Tale of Lady Thi Kinh, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, Tuptim in The King and I, Marian in The Music Man, and Cathy in The Last Five Years among others.

Bích-Vân Nguyễn produces and hosts her television musical show Gác Nhỏ THE NOOK Acoustic while appearing in countless television and radio interviews and talk shows, including being a guest coach/ celebrity judge on SBTN VOICE. She has also recorded fourteen and can be seen and heard in numerous other productions. Previously trained at the National Music Conservatory (Vietnam) and Bob Cole Conservatory of Music (California), she holds a master’s degree in musical theater and an advanced certificate in vocal pedagogy from New York University.

Vu Nguyen is an associate professor of music and director of bands at University of the Pacific. He conducts the Pacific Wind Bands, and he teaches courses in conducting and music education. Nguyen maintains an active schedule as a clinician and has served as guest conductor with military bands as well as honor bands across the country. Ensembles under his direction have performed at state music educator conferences, at the Midwest Clinic, and at the College Band Directors National Association Conference.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Nguyen holds degrees in conducting from the University of Washington and the University of Oregon, and he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from University of the Pacific.

Prior to his appointment at Pacific, he served in similar roles at the University of Connecticut, University of Indianapolis, and Washington University in St. Louis. He began his teaching career in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. In addition to his academic career, Nguyen recently retired as an officer in the Air National Guard (ANG) where he was the commander and conductor of the ANG Band of the West Coast.



University of the Pacific Wind Bands comprise students who represent music majors, minors, and non-majors from across Pacific. The ensemble performs at least four concerts each academic year. It provides students the opportunity to play a broad range of music for winds, brass, percussion, and keyboards drawn from a repertoire that honors the rich history of the past and looks to the future, ranging from chamber to full wind band instrumentation. Recent premieres and collaborations with composers include Kevin Bobo, Viet Cuong, Kevin Day, Catherine Likhuta, Giovanni Santos, and Alex Shapiro.


Grace Coon

Riko Hirata

Jessica Jenkins

Bobby Singh

Jasmine Valentine


Glenn Michael Adcock

Apollo Parish Mitchell


Damien Burgos

Kyle Chang

Audrey Ewing

Kaitlyn Ferreira

Maggie Juarez

Abigail Miller

Sophia Rechel

Joseph Schwarz

Andrew Seaver


Justin Silva

Jordan Wier


Hannah Estrella

Tristan McMichael

Marcus Rudes

Kyle Saelee


Mary Denney

Edgar Leyva

Don Parker

Owen Sheridan

Skylar Warren


Ainsley Berryhill

Parker Deems

Alayna Ontai

Kamron Qasimi

Yukina Shimokawa

Kylie Ward


Jayden Laumeister

Matthew Miramontes

Seth Neves

Pacific Faculty Coaches

Brittany Trotter, flutes

Kyle Bruckmann, oboes

Patricia Shands, clarinets

Ricardo Martinez, saxophones

Nicolasa Kuster, bassoons

Leonard Ott, trumpets

Sadie Glass, horns


Victor Alcaraz

William Giancaterino


Alejandro Villalobos


Joshua Gutierrez


Robin Bisho

Leonard Cox

Maddie Karzin

Casey Kim

Matthew Kulm

Robert McCarl

Jenna Williamson

Emily Winsatt


Magdalene Myint


Cathryn Daniels*

*Guest artist

Bruce Chrisp, low brass

Jonathan Latta, percussion

Sonia Leong, piano

Kathryn Schulmeister, double bass

Jonathan Latta, ensembles program director

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