ENMU piano student set to compete

By Celena Cordova, PNT Staff Writer

Eastern New Mexico University music performance major and international Chinese student Chenggang Wang loves competition, and his drive for competition helped him win first place in the Young Artist’s Piano Competition for New Mexico at the beginning of this month.

According to a press release, Wang is now preparing for his next step in the competition in the Regional Young Artist’s Competition in Tucson, Ariz.

Wang, a former student of the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in China, said before the competition begins he must practice as much as possible. He plays nearly two to three hours every day in the ENMU music practice rooms, and he occasionally practices seven hours a day to get ready for the January competition.

“Before January, I will try to get every piece I do to be fabulous,” Wang said. “This type of competition gives me a lot of experience.”

Though, Wang’s love for music is his first motivation to do well in the competition.

“First, I love music very much,” he said. “I love to play the piano. Because I love playing, I am very, very good.”

Professor of Music John Olson described Wang’s piano techniques as phenomenal.

“(Wang is) an extremely sensitive performer,” Olson added.

Wang chose Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 as one of two pieces he will be performing at the competition. “Chopin is my favorite composer, and I love this song very much,” Wang said.

Olson said Wang was the only student he entered into the initial competition. He also said this is Wang’s first competition.

Wang said his ability and confidence comes from Olson’s guidance.

“I have a lot of teachers teaching me, but he has taught me the most,” Wang said. “If you know Dr. Olson’s teaching, I think I can win any competition.”

Wang said Olson sits with him to teach him not only piano techniques, but how to listen to the music.

American teachings differ from Chinese practices, Wang said, as the Chinese focus solely on piano technique and American music teachers concentrate on the combination of technique and becoming good listeners of the music.

Moreover, this competition is another motivation to become a better performer, Wang said. He is using these opportunities to test his skill levels against other pianists.

Wang explained, “I entered this competition to compete to find out what level (I can achieve as a pianist).”