Justin Westley, Jacksonville High School graduate, presented a solo recital of vocal and piano music on May 23 at the First Presbyterian Church. His vocal program included works by Mozart, Brahms, MacDowell, Donaudy and Fine. His sister, Catherine, joined him in a duet from the musical, “Oliver.” Westley was accompanied by his piano instructor, Dr. Susie Dempsey. He also performed a Sonata movement by Beethoven on the piano.
Westley has studied voice from the age of 12 under the instruction of Jennie Wall of Anniston. Through the years, he has been awarded superior rankings at Alabama Vocal Association district solo and ensemble competitions and is the two-time winner in Advanced High School Men category at the Alabama NATS Competition.
He began his study of piano at age 6 under Dot Nessler. His other teachers include Dr. Gail Steward and Dr. Susie Dempsey (for the past five years). In addition to piano, Wesley was introduced to the organ when he participation in the Pipe Organ Encounters at Samford University in 2011 and the University of Florida in 2012. He has studied pipe organ with Dr. James Cook of Birmingham-Southern.
Wesley has performed with ensembles such as the Alabama All-State Choir, the Alabama Honor Choir, the Calhoun County Civic Chorale, and the National Catholic Youth Choir. In addition, he served as acting president of the Oxford Christian School Concert Choir. He was recently inducted into the Tri M Music Honor Society.
Outside of music, he is an Eagle Scout and has worked staff at the National Boy Scout Jamboree. He has been active with the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham’s CROSS Retreat Team, as well as in community theatre, performing with CharACTers Entertainment, and the Jacksonville Opera Theatre.
Westley graduated with honors from Our Lady of Good Counsel School. This fall he will continue his studies at Vanderbilt University, double majoring in vocal musical arts and human and organizational development.
His parents are Dr. and Mrs. Christopher Westley.