University of the Pacific…

Time to get back on the road!  We left Park City, Utah last Saturday and made our way across Utah, Nevada (along I80) and into California.  We had never been to Nevada City, just passed by on our way to other destinations.  So we spent the night in the old gold mining town and were quite impressed with the turn of the century architecture.  In 1985 or so, the city passed an ordinance that all old homes and structures would be preserved, and that new modern structures would be prohibited.  It guaranteed charm for Nevada City.  Here is a taste of the town:


Above:  one of the most beautiful late 1800’s homes; stained and leaded glass everywhere. Below is the firehouse, again dating back to the turn of the century:


Hard to see, but there is a bell in the tower.  The opera house is still pretty much the way it was.  We stepped inside and got a tour from the box office guy:

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From NCity, we headed for University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.  I have been friends with the band director at UOP for over 20 years.  Back in the 90’s both schools were in the Big West conference, so we met up on bball tourny’s, usually somewhere in California (Anaheim, Long Beach etc) or in Nevada (Reno, LVegas).  Since we were coming to wine country, I emailed him to see if he would be interested in me coming for a guest artist residency.  Any time we musicians can get someone else to do our work for us, we usually take them up on it.  So, over 3 days, I worked with 2 concert bands, a brass choir, the jazz band and all 12 trombone students (one hour lessons).  We stayed at the director’s house in Lodi, and sipped wine at several Lodi region wineries in the late afternoons.  Dancing Fox and Klinkerbrick were our two faves.  We also discovered a new grape for us – albarino.  It makes for a fab summer crisp white wine.  And, of course we tried all things Zinfindel which is what the region is known for.  A pic of the water tower on UOP campus, which is adjacent to the school of music:

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Above:  the band director and I waxing eloquently, in front of the band.IMG_2156.jpg

I led a breathing exercise with the students, which involved getting down and dirty.


Conducting the band above.


Working with the jazz band and Patrick, their very able jazz director.  And finally, conducting the brass choir in the UOP concert hall.  Very fun 3 days!


From UOP, we drove 2 hours South to Fresno.  There was a huge band festival going on, but more importantly, old friends of ours live in Fresno.  Larry Honda was the clarinet player in the USC graduate quintet that Liz played in back in 84-86.  That group competed in Munich , Germany and Colmar, France (2 separate trips) and apparently, became legendary at USC.  Larry and Diane’s kid Marissa did all three oboe degrees at USC (finishing up this semester) and she told her folks that students in the quintet STILL talk about the infamous quintet from days of yore!  We hadn’t seen Larry and Diane since the late 80’s, so we spent 4 hours at a local restaurant catching up.  It was SO good to see them.


Cody Birdwell was our band director at USU from 94-98 and we see him on occasion.  He was one of the festival judges at Fresno, so we spent a few hours with him in the evening.  From Fresno, we drove 3.5 hours to Sausalito/Mill Valley area for two nights of R and R at the Aqua Inn Hotel right on the bay.  Again, an old Logan friend of ours lives in Mill Valley and whenever we are in Sonoma (every Fall), Clark comes up to see us.  This time we returned the favor and visited his stomping grounds.  We will tour the house boats of Sausalito later today, and have dinner out with him.  On Sunday, we head to Cloverdale.  So I will blog to you from there.  I will have pix of a Lodi winery or two, in addition to pix of Mill Valley area.  Til then!



Author: euro916

I am a college professor in the music department of Utah State University. I will start my sabbatical on May 1, 2016 and plan to document the year's experiences in this blog. The sabbatical consists of musical endeavors in Europe/UK for 3 months, and half a semester as guest artist in a couple of California universities. Thanks for following!

One thought on “University of the Pacific…”

  1. Gold Rush country
    brick buildings, iron shutters
    tourist with iPhone

    me and my trombone
    I’m stuck in Lodi again
    give thanks for the flute

    part of the program
    low brass players have to breathe
    silent trombone best

    white bell tower
    to honor a grandmother
    with the same last name

    trees leafing out
    across a college campus
    welcomed by a flute


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