By Denise Dick
Concert pianist Lance Wiseman attended a performing-arts high school similar to Chaney when he was a teenager.
Now, he performs all over the world, his talent earning him critical praise as a recitalist and soloist with professional orchestras in Europe and the United States.
Wiseman performed Wednesday morning at Chaney for students in the visual and performing arts program.
“He began his piano studies at age 5 and started performing public concerts at an early age,” Tracy Schuler Vivo, visual and performing-arts coordinator, told students about Wiseman.
At 15, Wiseman was accepted into the college divisions of both the Juilliard School of Music and the Peabody Conservatory “at that time, the youngest to have been accorded this honor,” she said.
Students sat on one side of the school auditorium to get a full view of Wiseman’s hands as they glided and flew across the keys.
He entertained the students with classical selections from George Gershwin, Frederic Chopin, Robert Schumann and Claude Debussy, showcasing complicated, simple, jazz-classical and impressionistic styles.
Students cheered and applauded each piece.
This marks the second appearance of an artist at Chaney since the start of the school year. Last month, hip-hop artists Mindless Behavior made an appearance.
Solich Piano of Boardman donated the baby grand piano for the day Wednesday.
Schuler Vivo said she’s trying to arrange monthly visits, introducing the students to various artists whose careers they may want to emulate.
Wiseman attended a performing-arts high school in Philadelphia for two years before going to Juilliard. He made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall.
The pianist urged students who love the arts to stick with them, but to be flexible. Don’t just have your career mapped out limiting the possibilities, he said.
There are many careers in the arts, although most don’t involve a lot of money.
“You must go with your heart,” Wiseman said.
If you love the arts but choose a different career path, you may be good at it and earn substantial income, he said.
“But if you’re not happy, what’s the sense?” the musician said.