Three pieces for piano solo

by Paul Dice

Program Notes

Variations on a Theme by Alida Dice (2021)

As I awaited the arrival of my daughter at a family Christmas gathering in Guilin, China, I tried to figure out what sort of gift I should give her. Since I depend on others so much in China for
everything, I opted out of buying her a present and decided to transcribe a short piano piece she had composed instead. As soon as I began working on it, I realized how fun it’d be to write
variations based on her theme. The resulting piece begins in a somber A minor but the variations travel through an array of different moods and tonalities before coming to calm and peaceful conclusion.


This piece is A self-portrait that reflects the struggles, emotions and eventual triumphs of my life during my late teens and early twenties. Portrait was premiered at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis by pianist Shirley Weston and was also performed at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was featured on a broadcast of “Music in Minnesota” on Minnesota Public Radio hosted by Randy Bourne, and on KFAI-FM’s “These Things Happen” with host John Brower.

Hop and Scamper

The inspiration for this piece came from watching common frogs hop around my backyard and tiny, Spring Peeper frogs scamper away from me whenever I got too close to them. It seemed that every time I lifted up a large rock near our garden I’d discover their hiding place. They’d just look up at me and seem to say “Could you please give us some privacy?!” And then they’d scamper away, turning around every few seconds to see if I was still there. I think they knew I was harmless, but they still found me annoying.

This work has been selected for the Sydney International Composers Concerts 2022 – Contemporary Piano Music 2022 concert on December 22, 2022 7:30PM at the TLC Theatre Sydney Australia