Justin West, native of Houston, TX, is a tenor, choral conductor, adjunct instructor, organist, and piano collaborator. He is currently a senior candidate for the BMus degree at Lamar University with an emphasis in Choral (Vocal) Music Education and Piano. He studies voice with Professor Debra Greschner, organ with Dr. Scott Feldhausen and previously studied piano with Dr. Roger Keele and Dr. Kingchi Au. Justin also performs in the nationally recognized A Cappella Choir and served as accompanist for Grand Chorus for 2 years. Before moving to Beaumont to pursue formal training, Justin served as Assistant Director of Choral Ensembles and Staff Pianist at Resurrection Church and on the voice faculty of All About Music and Arts School in Houston. In Southeast Texas, he has played for several regional competitions, choirs, children’s choruses, and solo vocal and instrumental concerts and performances. Selected piano collaborator repertory includes Symphony No. 9 (Ludwig van Beethoven), Coronation Mass (W. A. Mozart), Mass in G (Franz Schubert), Dido and Aeneas (Henry Purcell), Porgy and Bess (George Gershwin), and Messa di Gloria (Giacomo Puccini). Justin has also been principal keyboardist for theatre productions such as The Drowsy Chaperone, Chicago, and Evita. Justin’s recent piano engagements include Beaumont Ballet Theatre, Beaumont Community Players, Beaumont Interfaith Choral Society, Southeast Texas Children’s Chorus, and Nederland, Hardin-Jefferson, Lumberton, and Beaumont Independent School Districts. He continues to be one of the most widely used piano collaborators in southeast Texas.
As a lyric tenor, Justin studied abroad on scholarship in the Concert Studio of the American Institute of Musical Studies’ Summer Vocal Institute in Graz, Austria. He completed lieder studies in the studio of Nico de Villiers and studied voice with tenor Dr. Alfonse Anderson. He also earned 2nd place at the Greater Houston Chapter of National Association of Teachers of Singing Auditions and Awards last spring.
Justin is the recipient of several merit-based academic scholarships and awards including the Texas Choral Directors General Scholarship, Texas Music Educators Association Undergraduate Scholarship in Music Education, Beaumont Music Commission Scholarship, WB & MG Mitchell Scholarship in Fine Arts and the Mamie Vivian Hawkins Scholarship in Excellence and Academics. And despite his hectic work, school, and performance schedule, he has been academically recognized every semester since entering study including two President’s List appointments. An award-winning essayist and scholar, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 TMEA Southwestern Musician Essay Contest for Pre-Service Music Educators for his entry, “Molding Young Musicians, Changing Young Lives: Music Education for the Future Generation.” Additionally, Justin performed research for his senior thesis last summer sanctioned by Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at Lamar University. His thesis is titled “Perceptions of Vibrato in High School and Undergraduate Choral Ensembles: A Study in Aesthetics." His final paper is published in the Lamar University McNair Research Journal. Justin will also present his research at the TMEA Clinic/Convention Research Poster Session in February 2012.
Justin currently serves as Director of Music at First Christian Church in Beaumont where he oversees music department activities, conducts the Chancel Choir, coordinates the concert series and administers the choral scholarship program. A highly demanded and active keyboard artist in southeast Texas, Justin also holds appointments at Pinecrest Baptist Church and St. Henry Catholic Church and works as a pianist and music director for Lamar Opera Theatre. His professional and academic affiliations include the American Guild of Organists, American Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, Delta Omicron Professional International Music Fraternity where he served as Director of Music Activities and Publicity for the Omicron Beta Chapter (2009-2010), the Lamar University student chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Council on Undergraduate Research and the Lamar’s resident chapter of MENC: Music Educators of Lamar.
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