Renowned Pianist John Bayless to Headline Benefit Concert

PLAINVIEW – John Bayless, a world-renowned concert pianist from Borger, will headline a benefit concert for Wayland Baptist University featuring performances from students in the fine arts.

Slated for April 7 in Amarillo’s Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, the event will begin at 5:30 with a silent auction featuring a variety of items, followed by the concert at 7 p.m. Opening performances will be by students and faculty from Wayland’s fine arts program, including vocal and instrumental performers.

Following a short intermission, Bayless will take the stage for the headline performance. A reception for the artist will follow, with artwork from Wayland faculty and students also on display.

A native of Borger, Bayless earned a scholarship to the Aspen School of Music at age 15 and moved two years later to New York to study at The Julliard School of Music. He was invited to participate as a composer in the inaugural class of New York University’s Musical Theatre Master’s Degree Program, where he studied with Leonard Bernstein, Julie Styne, Authur Laurents, Betty Comden and Adolph Green. His first musical, a fable titled Grand Duchy, has received stage readings at Playwright’s Horizon in New York City, The Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J., and The Falcon Theatre in Los Angeles. A full-scale production was recently held in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Bayless’ extensive performance history includes appearances at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of New York,  Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Hollywood Bowl,  and two tours of Japan, one most recently in 2006 including 20 cities. He performed at a gala for Queen Elizabeth II, and was a guest of Rosemary Clooney at several of her concerts.

He has recorded several albums of both his own compositions and classical pieces by Bach, Mozart and Puccini and composers of noted movie scores.

An avid composer, Bayless has received commissions from the Newport Music Festival, the University of Maryland International Piano Competition and the Metropolitan Museum of Art among others. His music has been featured on several PBS shows, including Julia Child’s “Baking with Julia” and “Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home,” “Weir Cooking in the Wine Country,” Jacques Pepin’s “Fast Food My Way,” and “Lidia’s Family Table.”

Tickets for the event are $40 and are available at all panhandle ticket outlets and online at All proceeds benefit Wayland Baptist University’s undesignated fund account.