By Reland Tuomi, Editor-in-Chief
The Lake Union Civic Orchestra (LUCO) is a Seattle-based community orchestra, known for its friendly atmosphere, astounding musicianship and regular performances of student-written pieces from across the state. Pacific Lutheran University senior Taylor Whately is one such student to have his piece played by LUCO.
Whately, a music and composition major, plays double bass and some piano in PLU’s orchestra program. He was introduced to the competition by composition professor Greg Youtz.
“There was a general email sent out first to everyone,” Whately said. “He sent me an email a few months later saying ‘hey, you should really do this.’ So I ended up doing it.”
Whately’s piece is titled “Fanfare of Giocoso,” and is happy and playful, as the definition for the Italian word “giocoso” suggests.
“I wanted to make a piece that was exciting from beginning to end, since it’s an opener to a concert,” Whately said.
Whately said he wanted to write a fanfare centered around a seven-eight beat instead of a strict, even meter fanfares are known for. He usually finds inspiration from things he hasn’t heard before.
“If I haven’t heard it yet, I want to write it,” Whately said.
LUCO will play Whately’s fanfare at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 in Seattle’s Town Hall. Tickets cost $18 for adults and $13 for students and senior citizens. You can purchase tickets here.
Whately’s music career began in middle school through a mandated music program.
“They jot you down for band or orchestra and say ‘pick one,’” Whately said, “so I picked orchestra.”
Since middle school, Whately has played in youth symphonies and youth orchestras in and around Tacoma.
After his final year at PLU, Whately plans on looking for graduate schools, but anticipates he’ll wait a few years before continuing his education.
“For composition, it’s more about finding good composition teachers specifically rather than a good program,” Whately said.
Whatley’s dream job is to compose music, especially for film scores. His favorite composers are Hans Zimmer, known most recently for “12
Years a Slave” and “The Lone Ranger,” and John Williams, who’s composed music for movie studios since 1954 and themes for the 1984, 1988, 1996 and 2002 Olympics.
“Those types of jobs require a lot of compositional speed, and I’m good at that,” Whately said. ◼︎