Dr. Thomas W. Bolton has come full circle in his career, retiring back in Arkansas after a sixteen-year tenure as Professor of Church Music at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he also served as Dean of the School of Church Music and Worship. Before that, he served for seven years as minister of music at Little Rock’s First Baptist Church. From 1973 to 1989 he was Professor of Music at Ouachita Baptist University. All in all, he has over forty years of experience in full- and part-time music ministry in churches in Texas, Arkansas, and Kentucky.
Dr. Bolton holds a baccalaureate degree in vocal performance from Ouachita Baptist University and the masters and Ph.D. in musicology with a minor in voice from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. He did some post-doctoral study and performance in Italy through the Sessione Senese per la Musica e l’Arte in Siena.
As a tenor soloist, Dr. Bolton has made many guest appearances with professional organizations, including the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and the Utah Symphony Orchestra. For a number of years he was a resident artist with the Arkansas Opera Theatre, performing major roles in operas such as The Marriage of Figaro, Madame Butterfly, The Barber of Seville, Albert Herring, and Cosi fan tutte. He has also sung numerous oratorio roles, cantatas, and solo recitals in guest appearances at churches, universities, and seminaries.
He and his wife, Mary, have recently built their retirement home on Lake Catherine near Hot Springs. They are parents of one son, Bryan, who is minister of music at First Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, and proud grandparents of Kaitlyn and Keith.