By Maren Layton
Practicing the piano four hours a day isn”t something most people consider fun, but, for one BYU student, it”s a way of life.
Dustin Gledhill began playing the piano at the age of 3, and except for a few teenage years, has enjoyed playing ever since.
The summer Gledhill won the Utah Best of State in Arts and Entertainment music competition.
“I wanted to do it because I love to perform,” he said. “I”ve been able to really find the music inside of me.”
At 16 years old, Gledhill served as the entertainment for a dinner honoring Prince Charles of Wales at Hollywood producer Aaron Spelling”s home.
Gledhill has also acquired more than 20 national and international first-prize awards, including the Junior Gina Bachauer international competition at age 17.
On top of hours of daily practicing, 23-year-old Gledhill, a BYU music major, finds time to take classes full time.
With so much to do, one would wonder how he fits everything into his schedule.
“It”s way too much work sometimes, but it”s a lot of fun,” he said. “Basically you just have to make a choice and cut out some social stuff and do it, or you get lazy and don”t. You just have to make time in your day.”
Gledhill teaches 20 private students, practices classical music every day and is recording an album with Covenant Communications to be released this October.
His family and friends encourage him in all he does, and are supportive and excited for his future.
“He has always needed encouragement,” said his mother, Leslie Gledhill. “But he”s always loved the music. It makes him happy, and that makes us happy.”
BYU faculty member Irene Peery-Fox taught and supported Dustin Gledhill since he was 6 years old.
“Dustin is one of the most gifted students I have ever taught,” Peery-Fox said. “He is just naturally talented. When he performs he has charisma, style and a real ability to capture an audience”s attention.”
Peery-Fox said she is optimistic about Gledhill”s future.
“I feel like he has the potential to be one of the great pianists of our day,” she said. “He is just so incredibly dedicated, gifted and focused. He”s a great person as well and I think all of that is part of becoming successful.”
Gledhill has traveled around the world, sometimes taking his family with him.
“It has been the most fun to travel with him,” Leslie Gledhill said. “We”ve been to Russia and Germany and it”s fun to see how he interacts with other people his age who love music. They relate to each other so well.”
For most of his life, Gledhill focused on classical music. Recently, however, he has found an interest in composition and easy listening styles.
In the future he plans to continue recording, compete in piano competitions, teach and begin composing for film scores.
Gledhill plans to attend the Royal College of Music in London sometime next year. He was also accepted to the Juilliard School in New York.