Paul’s next goals include composing more choral works, recording an EP of original music, expanding his organ repertoire, and turning his living room into a functional recording studio. These goals don’t have any particular order of priority but he most excited about recording his own EP. He has recently finished recording what will likely be one of the songs of that EP and the satisfaction of completing that was unrivaled.
WHAT TRAINING/EDUCATION HAVE YOU COMPLETED? WHAT ACTIONS DID YOU TAKE ONCE YOU DECIDED TO BECOME A MUSICIAN?
I started taking piano lessons at the age of seven, and for the past fifteen years, I have continued to study music in many different settings and contexts. I have formally studied classical piano, jazz piano, composition, theory, and music production. I first decided I wanted to pursue a career in music when I was sixteen years old and began writing my own music for my projects in my high school cinematography class. In 2020, I graduated summa cum laude from California Lutheran University with a BA in music production. During my time there I was fortunate enough to study under some very talented professors, including seventeen-time Grammy-winning producer Benny Faccone and current Temple Square organist Joseph Peeples. Outside of school, I have also studied with former Walt Disney Concert Hall organ curator Philip Allen Smith and participated in several programs including the CAP Summer Arts Program hosted by Cal Arts and the Artist as Citizen Conference, hosted by Artists Striving to End Poverty at the Juilliard School.
HOW DOES YOUR MUSIC CAREER USE YOUR SKILLS AND TALENTS, AND WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
My skills and talents are incredibly broad which I think suits today’s music industry. Since I am capable of wearing so many different hats so to speak, many different avenues of opportunity are open to me that would not be if I were only a keyboardist for instance. Right now I am working on writing and recording a demo EP entirely by myself, which showcases not only my talent as a performer but also my skill in songwriting and music production.
WHAT CAREER SUCCESSES ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF HAVING ACCOMPLISHED?
Some of my proudest accomplishments include performing the national anthem live on national television for an NFL game as a member of the CLU Kingsmen Quartet, performing on stage with Josh Groban, being a finalist in the 2019 West Regional Competition for Young Organists, after winning the preliminary round hosted by the Ventura County Chapter of the American Guild of organists only one year and two months after I began studying the instrument, serving as music director for two plays at my university, composing a piece for my university’s choir that was performed at the annual Homecoming Concert in 2019, and arranging two songs for my university’s jazz ensemble.
WHAT IS A UNIQUE STORY YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
One unique story I have occurred the very first time I visited Thousand Oaks, the city where I would end up attending University. In March of 2016, I went to a Kristin Chenoweth concert at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. I had purchased tickets in the sixth row, which included a low tier VIP package. The first through fifth rows included a higher tier VIP package which included a meet and greets following the concert. To my surprise, at the end of the show, the couple sitting directly in front of me turned around and offered me a pass to the meet and greet which the had purchased for their daughter who was sick and couldn’t attend. I accepted of course and went upstairs to the Founder’s Room where the meet and greet were to take place.
I sat with the couple who gave me the pass and I told them about my own involvement in the arts. After some time with no show from Kristin, the couple pointed out the piano in the corner of the room and suggested that I go play it, so I did. I ended up playing for about twenty minutes before Kristin finally showed up while I was halfway through singing and playing “Hanging Around With You” from the musical Strike Up the Band by George Gershwin, a song that was featured on Kristin’s first album, Let Yourself Go. I stopped playing and got in line for the meet and greet, and when I reached the front I received a great amount of praise from Kristin herself, who had heard me playing and singing.
This was a truly surreal experience for me because at the time Ms. Chenoweth was by far my favorite artist for quite a while at that point and she was one of the people who inspired me to begin taking singing lessons again after several years of not taking singing seriously.
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