Veronica Soo-Jung Lee
Veronica Soo-Jung Lee
EUGENE — St. Jude Parish here has two of the region’s most gifted pianists helping lead worship music.

Ting-Yu Liu and Veronica Soo-Jung Lee, at work on piano performance doctorates at the University of Oregon, have been music directors at the parish, at least until they finish their studies.

“They certainly have contributed to the quality of our music,” said Vern Arne, a member of the St. Jude parish council. “They embellish the rather simple hymns, adding different notes and trills and thrills and make it quite a pleasure to hear the music. It’s very nice to have that level of accompaniment. It draws one into a meditative contemplative state.”

Arne said the two pianists get the full glory out of the arrangements offered by Oregon Catholic Press.

Liu was born in Taiwan where she started to learn piano at age six, and entered a musically-gifted class. She received a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan and a master of music degree from Cleveland Institute of Music.

Lee has performed throughout the United States, Italy, Austria and Korea. She has given recitals at Carnegie Hall, Falcone Borsellino Hall in Italy and Bösendorfer-Saal in Austria. She has won many awards and prizes and is a music educator in Korea. She holds degrees from the Ohio State University and Florida State University.

“It’s been lovely to have them,” said Annegret Claxton, secretary at St. Jude.