More Than Just Rock ‘n’ Roll: Senior Guitarist Justin Hatt Brings Classical Music to Life

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Senior guitarist Justin Hatt is aware that most people associate guitar as a pop, jazz or rock instrument. While he’s appreciative of the stereotypical genres, he’s chosen a lesser-known genre of the guitar: classical. He may not be rocking out to heavy metal or swinging to the soothing sounds of jazz, but he’s stunning the rest of the world with his mastery of classical guitar music.

On Sunday, April 14 at 4 p.m., Justin will perform his Senior Recital. Justin’s recital will be held in the Upton Conservatory Recital Hall. There is no cost to attend.

At Olivet, senior recitals are optional performances, but Justin is eager to present his musical progress and spread awareness of the beauty of classical guitar.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to play for friends and family and show people that classical guitar is so interesting, elegant and beautiful,” he said. “It is something very special.”

Justin will perform a variety of classical guitar pieces ranging from the 17th century through the 20th century. Pieces will include work from composers Francisco Tárrega, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Matteo Carcassi and more. While Justin realizes that classical guitar music may be new to some, he emphasizes that there is something for everyone at the recital.

“For those who are not very familiar with classical guitar, there is a wide selection of music that will be soothing to any listener, even if you are not necessarily familiar with the works,” he said. “When people hear classical guitar the first time, many say to me that they’ve never heard guitar played that way, or they say it sounds like two guitars are being played at the same time. It’s a very cool experience.”

Justin looks forward to the recital as the culmination of his undergraduate career.

“I think for me a senior recital is very critical to my overall success and development as a musician. This is a great way for me to showcase what I have done during my undergraduate studies. It’s a great experience in playing in front of others as well as upholding what it means to be a professional musician.

“I am really excited to do this. This past semester and this current semester have been a lot of preparatory work for this big event. This is the single most important concert I’ve ever given.”

Ramona Kime, adjunct professor of music, has no doubt that Justin has a successful career ahead of him.

“Justin is one of the most goal-oriented students I’ve seen, especially when it comes to playing the guitar,” Professor Kime said. “He pushes himself to learn more repertoire, he takes the initiative to perform in a number of venues, and he thinks long-term when it comes to career, graduate school and networking.”

After graduation, Justin plans to attend graduate school.

“I want to be able to play music and teach the enjoyment of music to others in the world,” he said. “I’d like teach in academia as well as grow my professional musicianship.”

To learn more about The University of Olivet and its music program, contact the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu


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