José Daniel Vargas is a 3rd-year bachelor’s student in Composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Growing up in Tucson, Arizona, José had an eclectic musical upbringing that began with the electric guitar and classic rock music in his early teenage years. Joining his middle school orchestra playing the double-bass, José learned how to read sheet music and was immediately interested in learning how to write his own. Almost entirely self-taught through internet forums and YouTube tutorials, the only music lessons José received before arriving at SFCM were private lessons on the double-bass with Dr. Philip Alejo at the University of Arizona.
Throughout high school, José became heavily involved in music performance, participating in band, jazz band, orchestra, as well as a community youth orchestra program called Tucson Junior Strings. José would perform everything from James Brown to Beethoven at festivals, paid gigs and school concerts. Throughout this time José was also constantly writing his own music and learning from the music he played. Eventually José participated in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Young Composers Project where student composers worked with professional musicians and had their music played by the orchestra. The Tucson Symphony premiered José’s first orchestral work Amour dépérissant in May of 2019. December of 2021 saw the world-premiere of a piece José arranged and orchestrated with the Cape Cod Pops Orchestraon their holiday concert.
José is currently studying under Dr. David Conte, as well as teaching private music lessons at Guitar Center.