Senior recital to showcase talents of guitar and trumpet

Sable Riley

Staff Writer

Two students will demonstrate the culmination of four years of hard work in one recital.

Before students are able to perform their senior recitals, they must first pass the senior recital approval jury, which is composed of about half the faculty of Long Hall School of Music.

Thomas Gleaton, music industry major from Foley, went through the approval process Monday.

“The approval jury randomly picked pieces from my repertoire — my program — and asked me to perform them,” Gleaton said. “If they felt like I was good enough, then I passed, and now I’m actually able to perform my senior recital.”

“The students must be prepared to perform the entire recital at the top of the hat, basically,” said Robert Gibson, lecturer of guitar. “Depending on how well they perform, if they are able to show musical competency, artistry and technical facility, they will pass.

“Each semester, there are usually a handful that don’t make it,” Gibson said. “They have to try again next semester.”

Students find out whether they passed the jury immediately afterward.

Gleaton, who plays classical guitar, and Bufford, who plays trumpet, passed the musically tuned ears of the approval jury and are preparing to perform their senior recitals.

The senior recital performance is considered to be their final and is graded by the soloists’ professors.

“It’s more like a senior thesis,” Gleaton said. “Instead of writing a paper like you would if you were an English or history major, for a music major to pass and to go into graduation mode, they have to pass a senior recital.”

“All music majors must perform a senior recital,” Gibson said. “The reason it is on the degree program is so that students get the chance to display their musical and technical abilities in a live setting — to get a taste of a real-world performance with a critical audience.”

The recital must include 25 minutes of solo music and five minutes of chamber music, or music played with a small ensemble.

Gleaton will begin the recital with his solo performance at 7 p.m. Gleaton’s program will consist of originally arranged music from “Star Wars,” including “Rey’s Theme” and “Duel of the Fates.”

He will also play familiar works such as Bach’s “Prelude in D Major” and “The Grand Waltz” by Francisco Torega.

“I feel confident,” said Louisa Bufford, music education major from Macon, Georgia. “There’s always going to be some jitters, but I’m excited mostly.

“It’s kind of like what I’ve been working up to the whole time I’ve been here.”

Bufford will perform solo and ensemble music immediately after Gleaton. Her pieces will include “Man of the Mist” by Herbert L. Clarke, “City Scapes” by Erik Morales and “Rustiques” by Bozza.

Bufford said she will complete an internship in the upcoming fall semester and hopes to go on to teach music in middle school or high school.

Gleaton said he hopes to get into media management and would like to work at a radio or TV station.

Gibson said that watching his students perform their senior recitals and go on the path to graduation is a bittersweet experience.

“I’m excited for them — excited to see them move on to new adventures in life,” Gibson said. “It’s exciting to me to know where they came from. To see them grow from their freshman year to their senior year is rewarding.”

The senior recital on Friday, as well as all future recitals, is open to the public.

Gibson said he encourages students to attend the event and other musical performances during the rest of the semester in support of the music department.

The performance will be held in the choir room of Long Hall on Friday, March 25.

Information on upcoming senior recitals and other musical events brought by Long Hall School of Music can be found on

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