Pacific Fanfare, scored for woodwinds, brass and percussion, exploits several spatial characteristics of a large concert hall. Onstage, the brass and percussion sections are separated into two antiphonal choirs, with the woodwinds and timpani situated in the middle. Offstage, peripheral solo trumpet and horn project sounds from behind the audience.
The piece is a tribute to the great Venetian composer, Giovanni Gabrieli, who brilliantly utilized the space of St. Mark's Cathedral in his polychoral works and antiphonal fanfares.
There are two main themes, one based on wide melodic leaps (successive ascending fifths), the other based on a rapid repeated-note figure. In the beginning they are nostalgic and elegiacal, but by the second half of the piece they take on more grand, fanfare-like personalities.
Pacific Fanfare was completed in June of 1994 during a summer residency at Yaddo, an artist colony in Saratoga Springs, New York. It was composed as a gift to Carl St.Clair and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.