Faculty Spotlight: Thomas Kikta
Thomas Kikta is a classical guitarist, pedagogue, producer, and author who is Assistant Professor of Music Technology and Area Coordinator of Sound Recording Technology and Classical Guitar at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.
In October 2015, Kikta, along with Denise Wunderlich, released 2Believe, the debut album of his group, Colourtime Project. The album was released by Alanna Records and is available on iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Music, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and all places where fine digital music is sold. The music video for the single Falling is also available on Youtube.
Kikta offered some thoughts on the background of 2Believe:
"After writing and creating all the media for five books on guitar pedagogy, I wanted to do something different and venture in a different creative direction. Singing and composition have always been a large part of my life, in addition to the guitar, so to get a chance to bring that all together was very refreshing. Denise is an old friend that now lives in Vegas and has backed up the likes of Barry Manilow and Paul Anka. We worked across the country, using technology to transport our recording takes over the miles, so this album was pretty much done over the internet."
An avid supporter of the talents of his students, Kikta also utilized a few recent graduates of the Mary Pappert School of Music - Cory Caruso on drums and percussion, Ben Rossman on bass, Jeremiah Gregg on piano (also offering his arrangement talents), plus Chris Hemingway on sax.
"Everyone involved came together to make some really magical performances. Six-time GRAMMY Award winning engineer Jay Dudt did the lion's share of the audio engineering plus the finishing touches on all the mixes. This was really a blessing to work with so many talented people, coming together to add their personalities to something that I first just simply heard in my head. It was just a huge amount of fun," said Kikta.
A native of Pittsburgh, Kikta studied Classic Guitar performance with Aaron Shearer at both the Peabody Conservatory and at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He has performed around the country and for such dignitaries as Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison and has worked with such artists as Ricardo Cobo and Manuel Barrueco. As an audio engineer and producer, Mr. Kikta's credits include The New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Visa/Mastercard, Family Guy, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Starkist, Dr. John, MCG Jazz, BMG Classics, Leonard Bernstein, Pepe Romero, Sean Jones, Jacob TV, Jeff Bergman, and the New Century Saxophone Quartet, to name a few.
Thomas Kikta is an artist endorsee for Alfred Publishing, Alhambra Guitars, D'Addario Strings, Line 6, and Fishman Electronics. As a co-founder and Board Chairman of the Guitar Society of Fine Arts, Pittsburgh audiences enjoyed a decade of world class guitar music as well as free music lessons for underprivileged children. Thomas Kikta, along with members of the Shearer family, founded The Aaron Shearer Foundation, an organization dedicated to preserving and propagating the teachings and legacy of the revolutionary guitar pedagogue, Aaron Shearer.
For more information about Thomas Kikta, please visit his faculty profile page on the Duquesne website.
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.