Post retirement, Scappoose man chases composer dream
After studying music composition at Portland State University and University of Washington, Roy Fuller didn't delve into a music career. Instead, the Scappoose resident says he sought regular jobs and, eventually, a career in the financial industry so he could support himself and his family.
Now, Fuller is retired and indulging his passion for music.
Since he stopped working full-time for a financial firm in Portland's Pearl District in 2016, Fuller has composed three symphonies.
Next weekend, the third movement of one of his compositions will be performed live by the Hillsboro Symphony Orchestra.
"Being an artist can be a rather non-lucrative occupation," Fuller admits. "Rather than being a starving artist, I decided I would enter an industry where I can make some money and take care of my family."
Even with a full-time job, Fuller and his wife and children still made time to embrace classical music.
"We would listen to all the great composers: Mahler, Brahms, Beethoven," Fuller recalls. "They developed a great appreciation for music, and music was always a part of our lives."
If anything, Fuller found the balance that eludes many artists. His patience paid off.
"I've been very productive to date," Fuller says of composing three symphonies in less than two years. "I would hope, later down the road, to put down at least 10 of them."
Fuller's goal? Outpace Ludwig van Beethoven.
"He managed to get nine," Fuller notes. "I'm hoping for 10."
Composing is a painstaking endeavor not easily compared to songwriting as we know it today.
"It's a long time," Fuller says. "It's kind of akin to writing a novel. There's so much detail, there's so many instruments, and the time — it's not like a song that can go for five minutes. You're talking about many instruments coordinating together. My symphonies average about 50 minutes in length."
For the first time, Fuller will get to hear his work performed live when the Hillsboro Symphony Orchestra takes on the third movement of his Symphony no. 2 in E minor.
"It's very rewarding," Fuller says of having his work performed for an audience. "I guess being an artist is probably something I've always wanted to do and I kind of delayed my ambitions for a while."
If you go:
What: Hillsboro Symphony Orchestra performs third movement of Symphony no. 2 by Roy Fuller, among other favorites
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 16
Where: Trinity Lutheran Church, 2194 SE Minter Bridge Road, Hillsboro
Tickets: $10 adults; $8 students and seniors; Children 12 and under attend free
Tickets available for purchase at the door, or online
Visit: Hillsboro Symphony
Listen: You can preview Fuller's music on YouTube.