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Music Performance Grad John Burton on Taking His Passion to an International Level

Burton Will Graduate in April of 2023 With a BA in Music Performance: Woodwind

Photo by Emma Olson/ External Relations

John Burton, a BYU graduate who majored in music performance, will perform at Convocation on Apr. 28. Burton’s love of music goes back to 5th grade and continued as he studied the clarinet and performed with multiple youth symphonies.

Burton’s two musical role models are his high school clarinet teacher, Stefanie Gardner, and his BYU clarinet professor, Jaren Hinckley. He is grateful for their examples of dedication and how they helped contribute to his growth and achievements.

The most difficult challenge Burton experienced as a BYU musician was the COVID-19 pandemic. While it was difficult to perform for an empty concert hall and practice with social distancing restrictions, he knows he faced those trials for a reason.

“There were so many changes that did not feel ideal as a music major, but somehow it all worked out,” Burton said. “I learned to find motivation without external pushing. Now I look back at those experiences and don't know where I would be without them.”

Burton also faced a challenge during the pandemic to connect with other people. He began his academic career during the winter semester of 2020, before everything was shut down. However, Burton was able to form close connections through his involvement in the School of Music.

“In 2021 I was performing with the BYU Chamber Orchestra and we toured to Czechia, Austria and Italy. I met some of my closest friends. I have loved getting to know so many people in the School of Music and I will be sad to say goodbye.”

Burton said his greatest musical achievement at BYU was performing in multiple international competitions thanks to BYU’s experiential learning funding. He placed 3rd in the Silverstein Global Clarinet Contest, 2nd in the American Single Reed Summit International Competition and 2nd in the International Association's Young Artist Competition.

Burton was recently accepted to Arizona State University (ASU) with a full scholarship, where he will begin working towards a master's degree in performance. After he achieves this goal, he is open-minded about his career in music.

“I would love to play in an orchestra, teach at a university or teach private students, but I am open to where life takes me,” said Burton.