Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music will present T.J. Bailey in his senior piano recital Friday, May 2, at 2 p.m. The recital, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall.
Bailey, a worship arts major from Fort Smith, Ark., has been involved with music his whole life and plans to pursue a career in worship ministry.
“Ouachita is known for the excellence of its theological and musical programs,” Bailey said, “and I am proud to say I had the opportunity to study here.”
Bailey has been named to Ouachita’s President’s and Dean’s Lists and is a member of the Carl Goodson Honors Program. He was the winner of Ouachita’s 2012 Virginia Queen Piano Competition and was a national finalist in the 2013 National Federation of Music Clubs Biennial Collegiate Auditions.
“I feel very strongly that my focus is not on being the ‘best’ pianist or on being better than my peers,” Bailey noted. “Rather, I want people to enjoy my music, to feel like they relate to it. I work to perform in a way that invites people into my world and allows them to experience life from a different perspective. I’ve always joked that I couldn’t care less about playing all the right notes; my personal bar of success is if I can sit down at the piano and make a grown man cry.”
The recital will open with “Toccata and Fugue in E Minor, BWV 914” by Johann Sebastian Bach, followed by “Fantasy in C Major” by Franz Joseph Haydn and “Intermezzo Op. 116, No. 2” by Johannes Brahms. Bailey will conclude with the third movement from “Trois Études de Concert, S. 144” by Franz Liszt, “Un Sospiro.”
The final selection has special meaning for Bailey, as he remembers an especially moving performance of the same piece. He was a freshman at Ouachita at the time, and the upperclassman’s performance “strongly influenced my approach to music,” he said.
“She expressed herself through music in a way that I had never experienced before,” Bailey added. “The depth of emotion that I felt that day has become a goal for me, to recreate that experience for others. As soon as that particular performance was done I told myself that someday I would play like that; I might even eventually be good enough to play that piece. Sometimes, dreams that become goals become realities.”
For more information, contact OBU’s School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.