The Mason Hall Performance Center was filled with hundreds of eager onlookers as the David L. Walters Department of Music presented Justin Lockridge in junior recital last Wednesday night.
Lockridge is a music-education major, a euphonium student, and the president of the Jacksonville State University chapter of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association (ITEA).
He is the student of Chris Hosmer, Professor of Tuba and Euphonium Studies, and his recital, recorded by Michael Panik, was given in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education.
Lockridge delivered an immaculate performance with pieces ranging from Puccini’s ever familiar Nessun Dorma to Gillingham’s endurance-challenging Blue Lake Fantasies.
A slight shock, covered with a smile, graced Lockridge’s face when he first stepped out onto the stage. “I was extremely nervous, and in no way was I expecting a full house,” says Lockridge. “However, I was able to use that in a positive way to help improve my performance.”
Lockridge began his recital with three unaccompanied movements of Gillingham’s Blue Lake Fantasies entitled “Firefly”, “Moonlight Across the Water”, and “All That Jazz.” The piece sounded impossibly difficult, but Lockridge pulled it off with the grace of a professional.
His second piece, also consisting of three movements, was Marcello’s Concerto in C Minor, with said movements entitled to indicate a certain idea of the piece’s tempo. Joining him for the remainder of the recital was the wonderfully talented piano accompanist, Tom Burnett, and his assistant, Michael Greenwood.
For this piece, Lockridge was able to secure time with world renowned euphonium player and teacher, Dr. Brian Bowman, during last month’s OctubaFest. Bowman worked with Lockridge on Concerto in C Minor to get it recital worthy, and it was certainly time well spent.
After a short break, Lockridge, along with Burnett, gave the audience a chance to really understand how wonderfully expressive a sound that the instrument could manifest with a performance of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma, a piece near and dear to the hearts of many musicians, vocalists, and theater lovers around the world.
For his final piece, Lockridge undertook the task of performing the world premiere of Concerto for Euphonium, composed by JSU’s very own Dr. James Woodward of the D.L. Walters Department of Music.
The concerto was written specifically for the euphonium, and it explored the instrument’s extensive range above and below the staff; it was certainly a joy for the ears to behold.
“My favorite part was getting to share the music I had worked so hard to prepare, especially the piece by Dr. Woodward,” says Lockridge, after his much deserved day of recovery.
However, his time with the piece has not yet ended; Lockridge plans on using the piece to compete at the International Tuba and Euphonium Convention (ITEC) next year.
In the end, Lockridge couldn’t thank everyone enough for all of the support provided to him. “I’m extremely thankful for all of the faculty in the music department, especially Mr. Hosmer, my euphonium professor. Without them I wouldn’t be half the musician I am.”