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Concert to honor longtime School of Music professor, former director of bands, upon retirement


After a 35-year career in the School of Music, John T. West will retire from Western Carolina University as he began ― with music.

John West

A special “retirement concert” is scheduled for Saturday, March 28, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the recital hall of the Coulter Building on campus. A reception will follow.

West began at WCU in 1985 as director of bands and instructor of saxophone, as well as teaching classes in music theory, music education and conducting. He has guest conducted throughout the United States and has played professionally as a saxophonist with the Asheville Symphony, the Greenville Symphony and the Hendersonville Symphony, the Flat Rock Playhouse and with local jazz ensembles throughout the region. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, West also served as associate dean of WCU’s David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts, as well as director of the WCU School of Music. West will retire at the end of the semester.

The concert will feature a program of music for chamber winds, with additional string, keyboard and percussion performers. The ensemble will be comprised of WCU School of Music faculty with guest artists from the Asheville Symphony, friends and former students of West. This all-professional ensemble will perform works by Milhaud, Torke and Dvorak, as well as a world premiere of a new composition by former WCU faculty member Paul Basler, composed specifically for this concert.

For more information, contact the School of Music at 828-227-7242.

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