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Boring is home to pianist on the move

Teenager wins prestigious award playing 9-minute concerto movement from memory


by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Sandra Wiscarson stands beside Jordan Strang, 17, of Boring. The two pianos in the photo were used in the 33rd annual Vernon L. Wiscarson Young Musicians Competition. Jordan played one piano, while his sister accompanied him on the other. Jordan won the competition.If you have played the piano since you were 6 years old and you are now a teenager, what would you do?

Win a Young Artists competition? Be inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach? Play the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto backed by a full orchestra? Play from memory the Andante Sostenunto movement of Camille Saint-Saens’ Concerto No. 2 ?

If you are 17-year-old Jordan Strang of Boring, you have done all that and more.

Jordan, a home-schooled 11th grader, recently won the 2013 Vernon L. Wiscarson Young Musicians’ Competition.

Jordan performed from memory that nine-minute, first movement of Saint-Saens’ Concerto. His sister, Bethany, accompanied him on a second piano.

Asked for names of people who have helped him, the young musician quickly named his parents, Ken and Cindy Strang, as well as Harold Gray, his piano teacher of 1-1/2 years.

Jordan has played the piano since he was 6. He also tried a violin but quickly decided the piano was his instrument of choice.

He has three sisters and two brothers, and although he’s interested in a career in music, Jordan said he also has strong interests in technology and the Internet. Commenting on his goals, Jordan said he would be praying for guidance on choosing a career.

For 33 years, with earnings from a Wiscarson family endowment, the Oregon Symphony Association in Salem has sponsored the Wiscarson competition at Smith Music Hall on the Western Oregon University campus in Monmouth.

Jordan competed against eight other young musicians, ages 13 through 17. The other participants’ instruments included piano, flute, harp, saxophone and violin.

Founded in 1955, the Oregon Symphony Association in Salem presents Oregon Symphony and other high-caliber concerts each season at Willamette University’s Smith Auditorium.

For 58 years, the organization has brought the Oregon Symphony to mid-Willamette Valley residents and has supported many music education activities for children and adults.

For more information, call Stacy West at 503-364-0149.