Photo courtesy of the Gallia County Chamber

If you attended the First Friday events in downtown Gallipolis and visited the Artisan Shoppe and Studio you may have listened to a young man performing on the piano. That young man is 17-year-old high school senior Gavin Davis, who currently attends the Rio Grande Community College as a post-secondary option student/college credit plus student.

Davis, who has been playing piano since he was 10-years-old, recently performed at a Marietta College Junior Recital to gain more experiencing performing on stage. The piece he performed, Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 10, is just one of four pieces he is preparing for college admission auditions.

Practicing two to three hours a day, Davis has set his sights on a career in music, specifically planning to continue his education to the doctorate level, so he can be a college professor of music and teach piano. While he enjoys experimenting with other genres, such as jazz and classic rock, Davis said his focus is still classical music, which he believes is a natural progression of taking lessons.

“They all teach a classical style and all of my lessons were classical. The classical pieces I play now are just a progression of difficulty,” said Davis.

In addition, he wants to eventually compose his own music, something he is currently studying in his college courses.

“I’m really interested in composition. I want to write my own music and play that. I think that’s a very pure form of self-expression, of creating new things compared to replicating them. I enjoy that,” said Davis.

That outlet for self-expression is one of the things that drew Davis to studying music.

“I think it originates from it being a form of how I speak or form of self-expression, because I’m a fairly introverted person and I can express things through the piano. I think that’s rewarding,” said Davis. “I think [music] is the perfect fit for me. I’m fairly analytic and emotionally based. Music perfectly encapsulates that.”

Overall, Davis is extremely interested in all forms of self-expression, whether it is poetry, photography, writing or art.

“I think music is my own form of that, because I think it takes some of the best part of each of those,” said Davis. ““Studying a creative skill is something that really excites me. I’ve just chosen piano.”

While he still takes lessons with his Jackson based teacher Teodora Owen, Davis said his college experience has also been a positive influence and has helped him grow as a musician.

“I took all of the music theory classes here and that is talking about the web of analysis of music and how music works, essentially,” said Davis. “And I think that has helped me immensely in understanding music. This education allows me to convey my thoughts a lot better with music. And there’s a great community around here allowing me to cooperate and collaborate with other students.”

As far as the piece he performed at the Marietta College recital, Davis said he began memorizing it June 29 and continues to polish it.

“It’s going to take years to play it in a way that I’m probably completely satisfied with, if ever,” said Davis.

Davis will begin auditioning for colleges in January.