Wayland Students, Faculty to open "Night of Music" featuring Concert Pianist John Bayless

PLAINVIEW – Some of Wayland Baptist University’s finest musicians will open the April 7 concert at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts in Amarillo featuring world renowned concert pianist John Bayless.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction featuring a variety of items, including a diamond ring, a two-night stay at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Ruidoso, N.M., Texas Rangers baseball tickets, a digital camera and many other items.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. with performances by Wayland students and faculty. Senior tenor Jody Keesee of Lubbock will sing a piece from Verdi’s Rigoletto, accompanied by Dr. Gary Belshaw, associate professor of piano pedagogy at WBU. Juanetta Bocko, senior soprano from Post, will sing a number from Puccini’s Tosca, also accompanied by Belshaw.

Wayland instrumentalists will follow with “Three Freylichs” by Walter Thomas Heyn. Corey Jones, a junior music major from Albuquerque, N.M., will play the guitar, with 2001 WBU alum Jennifer Morgan of Plainview, a member of the adjunct faculty, on the violin. Dr. Sandra Mosteller, assistant professor of music at Wayland, will play the clarinet in the ensemble. Jeff Kensmoe, a bass-baritone and assistant professor of music who is also director of vocal studies and opera/musical theatre, will then sing “Charlie Rutlage” by Charles Ives. The opening portion will close with a concerto by Artie Shaw, featuring Mosteller on clarinet, Belshaw on piano and Kevin Riley, a member of the WBU adjunct music faculty, on percussion.

Following a brief intermission, headliner John Bayless will take the stage with a variety of music showcasing his talent and experience. Bayless will perform selections from his “Bach Meets the Beatles” album; “Circle of Life,” songs of Elton John in the style of Bach; “West Side Story” variations; arias for piano from his Puccini album; favorite hymns and a special tribute to Vladimir Horowitz. A reception for the artist will follow the concert, with artwork by Wayland faculty and students on display as well.

A native of Borger, Bayless has performed around the world and in such famous venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and a gala for Queen Elizabeth II. He has toured Japan twice. A composer as well, Bayless has recorded several albums featuring his signature flair on works by well-known composers such as Puccini, Bach and Mozart as well as his own work.

Tickets are $40 and are available through Panhandle Tickets outlets, online atwww.panhandletickets.com, and at the door. All proceeds from the concert benefit Wayland Baptist University.